In the latest twist in George Lucas' effort to build his proposed Museum of Narrative Art, the legendry filmmaker has simultaneously unveiled designs for potential locations in Exposition Park and at San Francisco's Treasure Island.
The Exposition Park site consists of two surface parking lots along Vermont Avenue, situated west of the California Science Center and south of Metro's Expo/Vermont Station. According to preliminary designs presented eariler this week to Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, the proposed building, designed by Ma Yansoung of MAD Architects, would contain between 265,000 and 275,000 square feet of interior space, of which 100,000 square feet would be dedicated for galleries. The museum would also sit atop an underground parking garage capable of accommodating up to 1,800 vehicles.
Hawthorne compared Ma's design favorably with the proposed modernization of LACMA, which is spearheaded by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. Both are oriented horizontally, but elevated above-grade to allow pedestrian and automobile traffic to flow underneath. However, However, Ma's project diverges due to its undulating form and the landscaped green spaces planned atop the structure and at ground-level.
Lucas, who would self-fund the $1-billion undertaking, has been pursing this legacy project for several years. With deep roots in Northern California, he initially targeted a waterfront overlooking both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay, only to see his effort rejected by an oversight group. Afterwards, he turned his attention to Chicago, but found himself stymied by similar opposition.
Now several years into the endeavor, the Star Wars creator has once again turned back to his California roots.
The potential museum emerges as Exposition Park undergoes a revival as both a cultural and entertainment destination, spurred by the arrival of the space shuttle Endeavor, the upcoming $270-million renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the $350-million Banc of California Stadium.
- George Lucas' Museum Designs for L.A. and S.F.... (Los Angeles Times)