new images of MAD-designed lucas museum unveiled as project breaks ground in LA

new images of MAD-designed lucas museum unveiled as project breaks ground in LA

new renderings of MAD architects’ design for the lucas museum of narrative art have been unveiled, as construction work on the project gets underway. planned for LA’s exposition park, neighboring the memorial coliseum sports stadium, the development would add between 6-7 acres of green space with galleries housed inside a sinuous structure topped with trees and other plantation. the scheme is being built across two city-owned parking lots, taking the form of a four-story building that rises to a total height of 115 feet (35 meters).

MAD architects lucas museum
the project is planned for LA’s exposition park
image courtesy of MAD architects (also main image)



spanning a pedestrianized walkway, MAD architects’ design unites the building’s two wings on its fourth floor. the rooftop provides additional exhibition space, alongside a restaurant and a public garden landscaped by LA-based firm studio-MLA. internally, the lucas museum of narrative art intends to celebrate the power of visual storytelling through painting, illustration, photography, film, animation, and digital art.

MAD architects lucas museum
an interior rendering shows a cavernous volume with tube-like elevator shafts
image courtesy of MAD architects



‘this is an art museum, but I’m also trying to position it as an anthropological museum,’ says george lucas. ‘it is my feeling that popular art is an insight into a society and what they aspire to; what they really want, what they really are — it is about telling the narrative of their story, their history and their belief system. I believe all kinds of art have a right to exist. I think it’s important to have a museum, that I used to jokingly say, supports all the orphan arts that nobody wants to see, but everybody loves. so that’s my dream for this.’

MAD architects lucas museum
a public garden will be landscaped by LA-based firm studio-MLA
image courtesy of studio-MLA



the museum’s collection is worth at least $400 million USD and will cover art through three lenses: narrative art; the art of cinema; and digital art. donated by george lucas and mellody hobson, the expanding collection includes more than 10,000 paintings, illustrations, and movie memorabilia.


video documenting the site as the project begins construction



an interior rendering, the first illustrating the scheme’s inner workings, shows a cavernous volume with tube-like elevator shafts that lead to the building’s upper levels. the new external visuals portray a simplified building, which still resembles an intergalactic spaceship. construction on the project is scheduled to wrap up in late 2021, with no official date set for when the museum will open its doors to the public. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

MAD architects lucas museum
construction on the project is scheduled to wrap up in late 2021
image courtesy of MAD architects



project info:


name: lucas museum of narrative art
location: los angeles (final site), chicago, san francisco
dates: 2014-2021
partners: ma yansong, dang qun, yosuke hayano
competition and design team: kin li, tiffany dahlen, daniel weber, jordan kanter, daniel gillen, wu kaicong, zhao wei, flora lee, jonathan kontuly, carmen carrasco, jacob hu, satoko narishige, zhu yuhao, casey kell, matthew pugh, kazushi miyamoto, ben yuqiang, hiroki fujino, chris nolop, kek seow, younjin park, brecht van acker, andrea d’antrassi, zhang yiran, pouya goshayeshi, dora lam, victor tung, steven park chaffer, sean tan, sheenam mujoo, dookee chung, cesar d. pena del rey, valeria pestereva, wang yiqi, dmitry seregin, lin yuyang, che-hung chien, zhang lu, zeng hao, young koo kang, shen han

  • This design has SOLE! It is a perfect metaphor for how humanity has trampled across the face of Mother Earth for centuries. From above it looks like one of those many plastic and rubber remnants washed up upon the shore of some nearby waterfront or distant tropical island paradise. Or a giant sport trainer shoe sole from some errant shoe manufacturer’s corporate display…UGG! Is this some kind of early April Fools Day prank? The Emperor Has no SOUL!

    Robert David
  • Well, put in context, this project has at last evolved from a series of elegant concept renders detached from reality to the image of a contoured shoeprint in an LA park in macro scale, completely out of sync with its surroundings. Amazing what a change in angle and surrounds can do..

    All I can see is the vast difference between the museum and the stadium at this point. Not to mention the buildings across the street. This is so disrespectful to the area and underwhelming to me that one could almost call it a bait and switch. This in retrospect is just more selfish design from a new era of designers who live and think in glossy marketing copy and renders, and I’m sad to say I was also fooled by the sleek and compelling initial presentation and bold futurist lines. I hope it serves as a lesson to all who behold it that architecture doesn’t live in a vacuum and we have not only a responsibility to our clients but also to the area that are graced by our designs.


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