Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel revealed during an unrelated press event that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is undergoing a design change. When the original conceptual design — by Chinese architect Ma Yansong — was unveiled last fall, it was met with decidedly mixed opinions. Some praised its daring, modern look, while others compared it to Jabba the Hutt on the lakefront.
Regardless of opinion, as with the moviemaking process, concepts evolve — and that is the case with the Lucas Museum.
When asked about the changes, Mayor Emanuel, who has been a steadfast supporter of the project in the face of ongoing legal obstacles, shared his thoughts:
“It’s not so much change. That’s not how I look at it. . . . When we did the river walk — the original until when it ended — it goes through an iterative process. You re-think things and do things” differently, he said.
“Right now, you have a parking lot. The goal is to have a big, green space that contributes to the open space and also is focused on its mission of education. As they work through that, that’s going to happen,” he said.
“There’ll be a lot of green space. And I believe the Lucas Museum — in combination with all of the other museums plus Northerly Island, which is 50 acres of nature preserve — will be really open, accessible and green.”
When asked whether he thought the original design was “ugly,” Emanuel answered diplomatically:
“No. . . . It’s a bold museum. It’s a statement. It’s true to Chicago’s history on architecture of making bold statements,” he said.
As of right now, there is no word on when the new design will be made available to the public. As soon as we know, you’ll know.