Construction starts on $1bn Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Construction has started on the $1bn narrative art museum pioneered by Star Wars creator Geroge Lucas with the official ground-breaking held yesterday.

Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, are gifting the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to the city of Los Angeles, along with an endowment of $400m. The two co-founders attended the ground-breaking, alongside the museum’s board of directors, LA mayor Eric Garcetti, film director Steven Spielberg and more.

“The focus of the museum is to open up people’s imaginations and inspire them to dream beyond what is considered possible,” said Lucas. “Narrative art and storytelling stirs our emotions, shapes our aspirations as a society, and is the glue that binds us together around our common beliefs.”

George Lucas Museum gets thumbs up from Los Angeles City Council

Design rendering of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

Originally planned for Chicago and then San Francisco, the museum eventually found its home in LA with a location close to 100 schools, which fits well with its educational mission. Final approvals from the city council came in June last year.

It is being constructed near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Natural History Museum, and a museum of African-American history and art.

The 28,000sqm museum was designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects and will feature a collection galleries and exhibition spaces displaying original works of art, cutting-edge digital technologies and daily film screenings in two state-of-the-art theatres.

It will also offer educational opportunities with hands-on and digital classrooms and a free public research library for educators, scholars and students.

Museum of Narrative Art Los Angeles LA George Lucas 2

Design rendering of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

“Our goal is to create the world’s most inclusive and accessible art museum—a place that brings together people from every walk of life,” said Hobson. “We are excited to call Exposition Park home, surrounded by more than 100 elementary and high schools, one of the country’s leading universities, as well as three other world-class museums.”

The project will transform a series of parking lots into a museum surrounded by 4.5 hectares of new park land and gardens designed by Los Angeles-based landscape architecture firm Studio-MLA.

Construction is anticipated to be completed by late 2021.

Images: c. Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.