Lucas Museum Transposition

[Original Image © MAD Architects, transpositions by Stephen Coorlas]


When news first broke that George Lucas had interest to build a museum in Chicago, I was excited. When Mr. Lucas then selected and announced MAD Architects as his design architect for the museum, I was ecstatic. But, once images of the proposed museum were unveiled, Chicago, along with myself, threw a hissy-fit. Some reacted via memes drawing comparison to Jabba the Hut, while others bullied the awkward form in heaps of paragraphs in blogs & discussion forums. But, most shared the opinion that the design was simply too alien and unforgiving for such a prominent spot along Chicago's coveted lakefront property. Well, coveted and typically off limits.

I wanted to appreciate the sinuously futuristic design. I tried to imagine driving on Lake Shore Drive or walking along the lake front to witness the nondescript white mound, but could never get excited for it. Even when the design was revised, downsized, and new images of eye-level perspectives were released, the project never completely captured my interest architecturally. Was it the form? The location?

It wasn’t long before community interest congealed against the project, forcing George Lucas, along with MAD Architects, out of Chicago to be someone else’s problem; or someone else’s solution…

While scrolling through the feeds this morning, I saw images of our lost future. Images that George Lucas and MAD Architects released of two options for the new Lucas Museum; one in LA, the other in San Francisco, both sinuous, sexy, and seemingly more refined than the Chicago proposal(s).

Are these new designs THAT much different, or “better” than the Chicago edition, or was I envious that California would be home to yet another architectural marvel, while Chicago struggles to… well, Chicago struggles. I decided to transpose the California proposed museums back on the Chicago site solely for the purpose of comparing form and coincidental site relationships.

The results were interesting. But I wondered: had these designs been proposed in Chicago, would things have panned out differently?