Scheduled to open in 2025, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles’s Exposition Park, reveals the latest details in the construction and addition of artwork. The first of its kind, the Lucas Museum, founded by filmmaker George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson, will be devoted to all forms of visual storytelling, including painting, photography, sculpture, illustration, comic art, performance, and video. Designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects with Michael Siegel of Stantec, the five-story and 27900 square-meter building will feature a gallery space, two state-of-the-art theaters, and dedicated spaces for learning and engagement, dining, retail, and events.
Taking inspiration from large trees in Exposition Park, the building is an extension of that canopy, lifting at its center to create a gathering space in the central plaza. The 11-acre museum campus replaces an asphalt parking lot and opens and activates Exposition Park’s edge for the neighboring community by creating new access points into the park. The gardens, designed by Mia Lehrer of Studio-MLA, will provide a vast, multilayered experience fully integrated with the building and the more than 200 trees that are now being put into the ground.
To achieve the building’s organic biomorphic surface, the structure will be clad in more than 1,500 curved fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP) panels, each uniquely shaped and placed to create the whole. Other major architectural features of the park and gardens, including the theater, hanging garden, and pedestrian bridge, are also under construction.
As a core element of its construction program, the Lucas Museum, the contractor, Hathaway Dinwiddie, and the City of L.A. have set the goal for local hiring and increasing the pipeline for subcontracting with women-owned businesses, minorities, and veterans. Through community outreach, local unions, and other workforce development nonprofits, the building project has employed more than 4,200 workers, more than 60% of whom live in Los Angeles County.
As the first museum to focus exclusively on storytelling through images, the collection will gather work from ancient Roman mosaics to Renaissance painting to contemporary photography. Curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas, the collection includes the masterpiece Roberto Colescott’s “George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware” (1975), an iconic painting “that parodies the grandeur of historical genre painting while exposing the structural racial divides of the United States.” Other additions to the collection are The Judgment of Solomon (1526) by Lucas Cranach the Elder, John Singer Sargent’s Las Meninas, After Velásquez (1879), and work by Ernie Barnes, who created some of the twentieth century’s most iconic images of African American life, including The Drum Major (2003).
MAD Architects have also revealed details of the Floating Structure Aranya “Cloud Center” in China and is currently developing The Mobility and Logistic hub (MoLo), and the Sanxingdui Ancient Shu Cultural Heritage Museum. The Lucas Museum in Los Angeles is the latest of many projects MAD has designed in the USA, including the Proposal for the Lucas Museum in Chicago and Gardenhouse residences in Beverly Hills.