George Lucas has chosen Beijing-based MAD Architects to lead the design of his new museum, planned to open on 17 acres of what is currently parking space along the Chicago lakefront in 2018. The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be based on the Star Wars director’s personal collection of art and movie memorabilia.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been enthusiastic about the privately funded museum, which will include a pricey pedestrian bridge that links the lakefront site to nearby Northerly Island, a former airfield architect Jeanne Gang is restoring to parkland.
However, the museum has proved controversial for lakefront preservationists and Bears fans who worry that their tailgating space will disappear (the museum plans to move some Soldier Field parking underground).
MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong (previously named to Fast Company‘s Most Creative People list), specializes in futuristic designs that connect natural and urban landscapes. Studio Gang will do the landscape design, including the new pedestrian bridge.
The museum plans to unveil designs by the end of this year, according to a press release.