Ma Yansong and Jeanne Gang named as Lucas Museum architects

Photograph: Michael Lewis
Jeanne Gang at the Studio Gang-designed Lincoln Park Zoo nature boardwalk

Last month, Chicago beat out Los Angeles and San Francisco to become the official home of the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. This morning, the Sun-Times named the architectural team that will be designing the latest addition to the lakefront's Museum Campus. According to the report, Bejing-based MAD Architects will be the principal designer of the museum building, led by by founder Ma Yansong, whose past design work includes the Absolute Towers in Ontario, Canada, and the Ordos Museum in Ordos, China. Chicago-based architect Jeanne Gang (designer of the Aqua Tower) and her firm will be tasked with designing a bridge that connects the Lucas Museum to nearby Northerly Island, in addition to handling the landscape design for the museum. Global architectural firm VOA Associates will serve as the project's executive architect, coordinating the team of designers.

The press release made no mention of the controversy surrounding the project's proposed lakefront site, which Friends of the Parks argues is in violation of the city's Lakefront Protection Ordinance. In recent months, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stressed the economic and educational benefits of the museum, while repeatedly promising that no taxpayer dollars will be used to fund the project. Now that architects have been hired, we're a few steps closer to being able to truly assess the physical footprint of the city's newest museum and the impact it may have on the surrounding area. The designs will be presented to the public in late 2014, adhering to a timeline that could see the facility open by 2018.

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