We timed the countdown to the inauguration of what will be the Museum of the Century, which will keep the legacy of the legendary George Lucas.
I have marked a very particular date on the Google calendar. It is something that I usually do, writing down in a favorite place the celebration of an important event that will take place in a while. This time it is January 15, 2021; That day (a Friday) I will check how the construction of the Museum of the Century is going, the George Lucas Museum.
Where will it be? The museum, called the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts, was designed to be built in Chicago in 2014, but they had legal issues with the location, with the architects’ original design, which was deemed overly ostentatious by the Chicago Tribune, and with some associations of the place. In the end, they modified urban patterns to accommodate the museum, even Frank Gehry publicly endorsed the project, and the city council approved the construction. Sometime later, Lucas decided to take his project to another city, to Los Angeles, where he was welcomed with open arms.
The design changed before leaving Chicago, transforming its ostentatious dome into a floating park, where visitors can stroll in green areas and enjoy views of the Los Angeles Exhibition Park. This year the foundation stone was laid and we could see how the city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, the museum’s governing board, co-founders George Lucas and Mellody Hobson and some other politicians, raised the famous shovel that gave way to the construction of the building at last March 14.
Why will it be the museum of the century? Among other things due to the relevance of Lucas’s work, Star Wars, both nationally (if we are talking about the country of origin, the USA), and worldwide, there is no doubt that the saga has triumphed among those who enjoy. Thus, fans will be able to walk through its rooms finding illustrations, comics, photographs, sculptures, costumes and sets from the most popular series, they will even be able to see original sketches and scripts made while filming.
Another characteristic that will make the museum unique will be its own idiosyncrasy, given that it will be the first museum of narrative art in the world, but… what does this mean? Well, according to its promoters: “Narrative art is visual art that tells a story. It manifests itself in all kinds of media, in all cultures, in all the ways you can imagine.” Well, that there is no one to escape… (or who wants to, of course). Anyway, I like the definition of the mayor of Los Angeles, who called it a “Slam dunk”, a “mate” for basketball fans.
The complex, designed by the MAD architecture studio, with headquarters in Beijing (where it originates from) and in New York, has the unmistakable shape of a spaceship, with smooth and curvilinear shapes that are quite aerodynamic, allowing us to think that in any moment it will shoot out towards the stars. This sensation is fostered from its base, supported by three towers that allow a generous outdoor space under the building, without a doubt, a good place to feel safe from the attack of the clones (or similar).
The large gardens outside avoid direct contact with nearby highways, generating green areas that are always necessary, although we must not lose sight of the fact that these also require care and maintenance. Inside the museum, transparent elevators will take you to the different parts of the complex, as you want to imbue yourself with the art collection of Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, the memories of his movies or other activities.
In total, the complex will be about 28,000 square meters, of which 9,000 will be for the main exhibition, covered by white corrugated roofs, like the ones Zaha Hadid taught us to love. Like any modern museum worth its salt, it will have teaching classrooms, a theater room, restaurants (I hope some in the upper part) and shops where you can buy a few souvenirs, obviously there will be an underground parking for 2,425 cars (we do not know if an aircraft will fit inside).
The cost of the building is expected to reach 400 million dollars, some 347 euros, although according to some media they will reach 1,500 million (1,300 euros), this dance of figures forces us to be cautious, constructions cost what they cost Not what we would like them to cost. The 4,000 square meters of outdoor park will be designed and executed by the landscape company Studio MLA.
Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company, the company in charge of building the museum, is committed to exceeding the requirements that are usually formalized by public administrations, even though private capital will finance the work, they want to contribute to a better society by hiring companies owned by the sectors less favored population. They have divided the work into activities and separately offered small and medium-sized companies, a good example to follow, especially by public administrations.
Another curiosity is that the museum, which had been proposed for San Francisco and Chicago, and ended in Los Angeles, near the Museum of Natural History, the Science Center and the Coliseum, is located in front of the University of Southern California, where George Lucas went to film school. It seems that the past, even when it comes to elucidating the future, is unable to leave us. Fantastic place to visit in the near 2021… Don’t you agree?