Lucas Museum Design Contest

Lucas Museum Design Contest

The City of Chicago was recently presented with an exciting opportunity to potentially become the home of the George Lucas Museum.  With the recent rejection of a site in San Francisco, and Lucas taking up a second residence in Chicago with his new wife Mellody Hobson, he released an RFP for the city to host a potential site for the filmmaker’s collection of art and movie memorabilia.  Chicago may actually end up having two major landmarks come into the city – the Barack Obama Presidential Library and the Lucas Museum. VIATechnik is putting its resources toward making the Second City a prime landmark destination. Here’s how:

VIATechnik is sponsoring a very unique, once in a lifetime, museum design competition.  VIATechnik’s CEO, Danielle Dy Buncio explained what a great honor it is to host this unofficial contest where aspiring designers and architects can showcase their talents and passion for the Star Wars Franchise and it’s maker George Lucas, all while helping Chicago become a destination for the Lucas Cultural Museum.  George Lucas envisions an iconic museum in a 1st class city.  Dy Buncio explains that she hopes the winning submission showcases an iconic design while being mindful of (and taking advantage of) Chicago’s landscape, robust architectural history, and four seasons.

Please note that this contest is not sponsored by George Lucas, the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, Lucasfilm, or the City of Chicago.  Winning entries will be shared with the City of Chicago’s  Selection Task Force, but it does not guarantee in any way that any of the designs will be used by the Task Force. Please submit entries here.


The Jury is composed of the following individuals, each a respected member of their field:

Carol Ross Barney, FAIA – She is the founder and Principal of Ross Barney Architects. Carol is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, one of the highest honors the Institute bestows upon its members. She is the recipient of the American Institute of Architects Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, recognizing excellence in architectural achievement. Her work includes The new CTA Cermak Station, South Campus Central Chiller Plant for The Ohio State University, the Illinois Accelerator Research Center at FermiLab, two new schools for Stillwater Oklahoma and the Chicago Riverwalk.

Michael Ellch – Michael is a Development Associate at Related Midwest.  His projects include 500 North Lake Shore Dr and Parkview East.  Outside of Related, he spends time as a mentor at Minds Matter and a board member at the City of Hope Future Leaders group.  Michael holds an MS in Real Estate Development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BS in Accounting from Arizona State University.

Daniel Peddicord – Dan serves as a Project Executive for Chicago-based Pepper Construction.  Dan has worked primarily with one major retailer the last 5 years, leading the construction of many of their significant/flagship stores throughout the US.  Dan’s knowledge extends beyond retail construction, holding a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and having completed numerous construction projects in other sectors including hospitality, higher education, commercial, industrial, residential-condos and healthcare.

Declan Monaghan – Declan is a Principal at Arup.  After 30 years at Arup in Dublin, Ireland, Declan now heads the Chicago office.

Please note that members of the jury are participating in a personal capacity and do not represent their respective companies.


To officially enter the contest, please provide your full name, date of birth, email address, and a brief bio to OR enter your information in the fields below. We will then send you a link to upload your files. The submissions are to be submitted digitally through this submission link. The official site selected by the Mayor’s task force is at the Chicago Museum Campus (between Soldier Field and McCormick Place – see image below) and the entries must be made using this location as the site of the design entry. Launch date: May 15th 2014 Submission Dead Line: June 15th 2014 23:59 pm, Central Time Results announced: June 30th 2014 The participants are asked to provide: – At least 1 rendering of what the museum would look like from the exterior. Entries may also include more exterior views and interior views, but these are entirely optional. Entries must be submitted in digital format. Acceptable formats are JPG, PDF, PSD – each entry must have a resolution of 1920 x 1280, 300dpi. – An abstract (up to 800 words) has to be attached, in .doc format, explaining the specifics and the particularities of the design. This text must be in English. This text will include the title of the project. Each document shall not exceed the size limit of 10 MB.

Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune


First prize will consist of entrant’s work being presented to the Chicago Task Force, a social media blitz promoting the winner, and a brand new IPAD 2 (16GB). Second and Third place designs will also be part of the presentation to the Chicago Task Force, and will each receive Google Chromecasts to experience streaming George Lucas’ movies! Non-US residents will not be eligible for the prizes, however, a separate recognition category will be created for the best 3 non-US resident submissions. This contest DOES NOT GUARANTEE that the designs will be used by the Chicago Task Force in its bid for the Lucas Museum.


Individuals may form groups and submit as 1 team. Each team can have no more than 4 people. One individual/group can submit more than one entry. A selection of entries will be featured on the website and might be published by online magazines and other publications. Entries must not have been published or proposed previously to any other competition. Participants guarantee to own all copyrights for their proposal including all the single documents of their submission (such as pictures, datas, texts‚ etc). Participants must be US Residents aged 18 years or older. By participating, the entrants accept the publication of their proposal without any further authorization: Entrants keep the authorship and the including intellectual rights and will always be named in every publication. VIATechnik LLC reserves the right to modify the submission requirements at any time. This contest is sponsored by VIATechnik LLC and IS NOT sponsored by George Lucas, Lucasfilm, Apple or the City of Chicago, or any of its affiliates. STAR WARS and all related characters, names and indicia are trademarks of & copyright of Lucasfilm Ltd. Apple, the Apple logo, iPad, Copyright Apple Inc.


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