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Potential designs unveiled for both San Francisco and Los Angeles as Lucas Museum saga continues

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The saga of George Lucas’ long-running attempt to build a Museum of Narrative Arts in the US has taken another surprising twist, with concept designs released for locations in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The Star Wars creator has been trying to establish the museum – which will explore how imagery tells stories from illustration to comics and films – for several years. His ambition to build it on a site by Chicago’s Lake Michigan was recently scuppered by legal challenges from local campaign group Friends of the Parks.

Lucas has responded by pursuing the two alternative options. As with the futuristic Chicago proposal, both museum designs been created by Ma Yansong and his studio MAD Architects.

The San Francisco museum is earmarked for a site on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, reportedly as part of a masterplanned district designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merril. Interior spaces would stretch an estimated 275,000sq ft (25,500sq m).

The second location is Exposition Park in Los Angeles, near the Natural History Museum. It would have the same amount of interior space and up to seven acres of parkland around it.

While rather different to the Chicago proposal, both designs demonstrate the type of streamlined, fluid forms typical of Ma’s work and both provide similar spaces for the public to walk underneath parts of the structure. In an exclusive interview with CLADmag, he described his architectural philosophy as “moving beyond nature” and described creating form as “like an acting technique” that can evoke a variety of emotional responses.

“We should always be talking about the shape of the buildings around us,” he said, “and the buildings around us should be more elegant. Some people say that the space you create is the most vital part of the architectural experience. While I agree it’s very important, it is the visual aspect of buildings that is unavoidable. We can’t forget that.”

According to the LA Times, Lucas is likely to make a final decision on which proposal to pursue in the next four months after gauging levels of support for the respective schemes.

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The saga of George Lucas’ long-running attempt to build a Museum of Narrative Arts in the US has taken another surprising twist, with concept designs released for locations in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
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