Construction has begun on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) in Los Angeles. Designed by Chinese firm MAD Architects, the $1.5bn development will act as the gateway to Exposition Park in the south of the city.
MAD says that the museum, founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas, will look as though it has "landed on the site’s natural environment", with the interior designed as a "huge, bright and open cave".
The roof and first-floor of the 11-acre building will be public areas.
The museum’s collection of 10,000 paintings, illustrations and film memorabilia is estimated to be worth $400m and spans three themes: narrative art, the art of cinema, and digital art.
The Los Angeles government said the museum was "the largest public gift ever given to a municipality".
At the groundbreaking ceremony, George Lucas said: "This is an art museum, but I’m also trying to position it as an anthropological museum.
"It is my feeling that popular art is an insight into a society and what is aspires to, what it really wants, what it really is – it’s about telling the narrative of their story, their history and their belief system."
MAD won a design competition for the museum in 2014. The firm designed two other versions of the project for Chicago and San Francisco.
The project is due to open in the second half of 2021.
Images courtesy of MAD Architects