Architect Adam Reed Tucker has taken the art of LEGO building to towering new heights. He created 12 LEGO architectural wonders, all of which can be seen at the The Art of Architecture exhibition at the Figge Art Museum in Iowa. Tucker, it turns out, is part of an elite group of only 11 official LEGO Certified Professionals in the world and contributes new additions to the popular LEGO Architecture Series. Many of Tucker's LEGO skyscrapers are from his hometown, Chicago, including the John Hancock Building, Trump Tower, Marina City towers, Hancock Tower, and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). Also on display are icons from across the globe including the Empire State Building, the St. Louis Arch, and the Burj Khalifa. That latter tower was built using over 450,000 LEGO bricks, rising to 17 feet. Unbuilt projects are also included, such as the Chicago Spire and 7 South Dearborn. According to Tucker, the project is “all about celebrating architecture and using plastic, interlocking bricks as my medium. Lego was the easiest three-dimensional medium to use because it doesn’t require gluing or cutting, it’s self-contained, interlocking, and everyone knows how to snap them together.” "The LEGO brick is my way of illustrating my creativity," Tucker said in Philip Wilkinson's LEGO Architecture book. "I use it in order to physically and visually demonstrate what architecture is—through my eyes. Whether recreating a world famous landmark or inventing something completely original, I utilise the Lego brick as a creative medium to capture the essence of design." The Art of Architecture also includes monochrome architectural photography by J. Hunt Harris II and will run through to May 29. (Courtesy Figge Art Museum)
Posts tagged with "LEGOs":
The award-winning artist who makes a living monkeying around with LEGO bricks to awe-inspiring effect recently moved into a new 4,000 square foot studio-cum-playroom in Brooklyn. Sean Kenney and his creative team will use the brick shell space—designed by studioMET Architects in a pre-Lincoln era carriage house—to design, build, and ship LEGO sculptures, portraits, murals, architectural models and commissioned landscapes for corporate displays. Kenney, oft dubbed a “professional kid” is one of four Lego Masters in the United States to be formally affiliated with the company. His current nationally touring exhibition, Nature Connects features larger-than-life models of insects, a doe and fawn, a lawnmower, a sundial, a peacock boasting its voluminous plumage, and all things outdoorsy which one wouldn’t ordinarily dream of seeing in LEGO form. The 50-piece show is composed of over 1.6 million LEGO bricks. Kenney’s custom wall portraits read like pixelated screen prints, while his fully functioning table lamps and mosaic-like wall murals make for whimsical home decor. A computer programmer by trade, Kenney has eschewed computer modeling software in the 10 years since shedding his suit-and-tie trade as a software developer. “I like to build the old-fashioned way, just by sitting down with my pieces and a photograph or two of whatever I’m building and seeing where it takes me,” Kenney told NY Daily News. Kenney, who has relocated his studio numerous times, is settling into an adaptable, modern space that can transform from a creative cave consisting of desk pods, a lounge and kitchenette, into a loading dock when a sculpture has to be shipped. The studio is also outfitted with a video/stop animation studio and workshop, as well as a crate storage room for finished sculptures waiting to be shipped.
YouTube vlogger Grant Thompson aka 'King of Random' recently broke the internet with a how-to video for concocting edible, stackable LEGO gummy candies. The mixture is made using just two ingredients—unflavored powdered gelatin and water—and then poured into arts & craft store-variety silicone LEGO molds or ice cube trays. You need simply mix the powder with water and melt the mixture. Thompson recommends letting it sit for ten minutes and then pouring the jelly-to-be into a squeezable condiment container to easily dispense it into the molds. If lumps form, pour the entire mixture into a large drinking glass, where air bubbles and clumps will rise to the top, adding more water if you desire clearer bricks, and increasing the ratio of unflavored gelatin to flavored for a chewier texture. Allow five hours for the syrup to cool. Provided that the mixture properly fills the mold, the resulting LEGO bricks and figures should be stackable just like the real toy—veritable proof that everything is awesome, as proclaimed by the irritatingly catchy LEGO Movie theme song.
One Seattle architect’s much ballyhooed basement isn’t built from LEGO bricks, but it houses 250,000 of them in 150 meticulously sorted bins. Jeff Pelletier, who runs a small architecture practice Board & Vellum, has amassed a collection worth an estimated $25,000, with containers categorized by color, food, Lego leaves, heads, torsos, Lego latticework, satellite dishes, legs, gold bricks, red bricks, and lime. When Pelletier bought the unfurnished house in 2006, he found a lone red Lego brick in the attic and construed it as a sign that it was the place to put down roots–and his LEGO man cave. Like many aficionados of the self-adhering plastic bricks, Pelletier has been collecting since toddlerhood. At age 16, he relegated his collection to the storage room, unearthing it again in 2005 when he resumed collecting and acquired the collection he has today. When he remodeled his whimsical-looking lime-and-raspberry home in 2011, he decided to transform his basement into a media room, bar, and giant Lego repository, where Pelletier has built a Lego library, ships, bars, houses he’s lived in and even a miniature version of his brightly colored home. “Since I was 2 years old, I always wanted to be an architect. I think a lot of that was because of LEGO,” Pelletier told Komo News.
A miniature LEGO model of the Lincoln Memorial has just launched under the LEGO Architecture brand, a “Lego for grownups” product line that celebrates architecture and the chameleon capabilities of the LEGO brick. Featuring recreations of landmark buildings such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Sydney Opera House and Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the latest set honors the memorial completed in May 30, 1922 in homage to the 16th president of the United States. The final cost of the memorial approached $3 million, although just $2 million had been initially allocated. Despite not being immediately apparent to the naked eye, the building’s columns and exterior walls are slightly inclined toward the interior to compensate for visual perspective distortions that would make the building appear to bulge at the top. Honoring the 57th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, the memorial designed by Henry Bacon resembles a Greek temple, with 36 fluted Doric columns to represent the number of recognized states at the time of Lincoln's death. Visible from the outside is the famous oversize statue by Daniel Chester French, with Lincoln’s left hand clenched to symbolize strength and determination and his right palm open in a show of charity and compassion. While the LEGO model measures a mere two inches tall, 4 inches wide, and 3 inches deep, it has an easily removable roof for viewing the statue inside. Aspiring towards a true-to-life remake, the model includes the steps leading up to the building from the reflecting pool. The set includes a sorely-needed plastic brick separator for detaching those notoriously clingy flat bricks, as well as a 65-page instruction manual.
The LEGO tower in Budapest, Hungary has broken the world record for "tallest structure built with interlocking plastic blocks." The tower was completed and registered with the Guinness Book of World Records on May 25th at a height of 114 feet. The previous record was 112.9 feet and was set through the combined efforts of students from the red clay consolidated school district in Delaware. According to the blog So Bad So Good, the new tower was erected by LEGO architects, who received some help from local primary school children. The tower was topped with a Rubik's cube: a Hungarian invention.
[beforeafter] [/beforeafter] Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and LEGO have unveiled plans for the LEGO House, an experience and education museum to be built in Billund, Denmark, LEGO’s birthplace. Visitors will enter a building resembling giant LEGO stacked blocks. The LEGO-block building concept embodies the tenants of LEGO play: stimulated learning and interactive thinking. Visitors can interact with the museum by walking around, under, and over, just as they would if they were playing with the bricks. Construction is projected to begin next year. The piled bricks will stand approximately 100 feet tall and have around 82,000 square feet of exhibition areas, a cafe, a unique LEGO store and a covered 20,000 square foot public plaza. The museum and its plaza will be open to the public for free, although admission charges will apply to other areas. The project will incorporate plentiful daylighting, interactive exhibits and various rooftop gardens complete with towering LEGO trees that will expand public space and offer outdoor play spaces. LEGO owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen said in a statement, "the LEGO House will be a place where people can enjoy active fun but at the same time it will be an educational and inspirational experience—everything that LEGO play offers." The Museum is planned to open in 2016 and is projected to see approximately 250,000 visitors per year.
Irreversible Sean Kelly Gallery New York Through June 22 There is a renewed interest in the west of Soviet modern architecture from the Cold War and its strong and determined sculptural form. Much of the work was barely known in the west—at least in this country—and has come as a revelation to scholars and critics. A recent exhibition Soviet Modernism 1955-1991 at the Architekturzentrum in Vienna and a fascinating exhibit Cold War Cool Digital at Pratt Institute featured Soviet designed pre-fabricated and globally distributed Cold War Era housing systems. Both of these exhibits featured the ambitious and determined socialist realism that one would expect from work of this period, but now an exhibition, Irreversible, at the Sean Kelly Gallery by the Havana- and Madrid-based group Los Carpinteros features work that expresses what it felt like to be the receiver of these Soviet-inspired architectural and sculptural forms and their realist messages. The artists are showing large, brightly colored objects inspired by Russian and Yugoslavian sculptures that simultaneously revel in their dramatic form but also the feeling of unease they evoked for Cubans. In order to obfuscate the potentially fraught political connotations of the work. Los Carpenters made them of their own versions of LEGO children's blocks. The results are convincing and powerful in their own right and monuments of a new generation of Cuban artists. The show is on at Sean Kelly through June 22 and features other work by the young Carpinteros.
This story appears to have it all: architecture, LEGOs, Star Wars, and controversy. The Telegraph reports that the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria (TCCA) has taken offense at LEGO's latest miniature plastic toy, a replica of Jabba the Hutt's Palace from the Star Wars trilogy. While some are calling the absurdity of the move a spoof, the group alleges the model is based on the architecture of Istanbul's Hagia Sofia and the Jami al-Kabir Mosque in Beirut, and fills the two revered symbols of the Islamic world with armed criminals. Jabba the Hutt is the slug-like alien and crime boss who maintained a mixed-relationship with smuggler-turned-hero Han Solo, at one point cryogenically freezing Solo. According to the Telegraph, the TCCA said on its website (in German), "It is clear that the ugly figure of Jabba and the whole scene smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities." It has called on LEGO to apologize for the creating negative views of their culture and is considering legal action. A spokesperson for LEGO denies any link between Jabba's Palace and the Hagia Sofia.
Treehouse of Worship. Everyone loves a treehouse, especially one that dates from 1696 (built in a tree that's over 800 years old, no less). Boing Boing uncovered the chapel in Allouville-Bellefosse, France dedicated to the Virgin Mary that was built in the hollowed out trunk caused by a lightning strike. Talking Tanks. Who can forget the Mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania who, fed up with cars parked in the bike lane, crushed the offending vehicles with a tank. Classic. Transportation Nation couldn't get enough of the car-crushing crusader, either, and has posted an interview where the mayor warns that tanks may return to the streets of Vilnius. Frank Llego Wright. Will we ever tire of LEGOs? I hope not. LEGO has already immortalized Wright's Fallingwater and his Guggenheim Museum in tiny plastic bricks, but Building Design just reported that the Prairie-style Robie House in Chicago is also available for architects and aspirants to assemble and adore. Baking Buildings. Some of the most beautiful historic (and modern, too!) buildings feature terra cotta facades, but whether they're ornate or sleek, we seldom have a chance to peek behind the scenes to see how the clay cladding is made. Buffalo Rising took a visit to a local terra cotta factory to check out what's involved.
Solar-Powered Fun. New York City’s first solar merry-go-round just opened at the South Street Seaport, offering free rides to kids through September 7th. GE's Carousolar is powered by 100 solar panels made of ultra thin semiconductors able to withstand extreme humidity and UV ray exposure. The green fun isn't just for kids—GE also provided solar-powered cell phone charging stations for adults around the carousel, reported Inhabitat. Sun-Filled Fasting. According to Dubai’s top cleric Mohammed al-Qubaisi, residents of the Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest skyscraper, will have to wait a few extra minutes to break their fast during Ramadan. Muslims living above the tower's 80th floor should fast two additional minutes after dusk while those above the 150th floor wait an additional three minutes, The Guardian reported. Al-Qubaisi explained that just like early Muslims living in the mountains, the residents of the highest floors must adjust their fast due to the extended visibility of sunlight. #ThingsNotToDoOnPublicTransportation. Public Transportation is trending on Twitter and the end result is a humorous user guide to transit etiquette. Transportation Nation rounded up some of their family-friendly favorites. LEGO Gate. While not yet officially announced, European blogs have been abuzz that the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin will be the next in LEGO's Architecture line of miniature real buildings. Unbeige revealed the series’ designer Adam Reed Tucker developed the Brandenburg model, representing the 2nd building outside of the US (the first was SOM’s Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai).
Etch-a-Desert. In the Peruvian desert, you will find artist Rodrigo Derteano’s robot scraping away at the dirt to create massive drawings. In an interview with Derteano, We Make Money Not Art explained, “Guided by its sensors, the robot quietly traced the founding lines of a new city that looks like a collage of existing cities from Latin America.” The drawing was completed over the course of five days, most of which the robot spent tracing alone. Have a closer look at the video above. (via BldgBlog.) The future is dead. National Geographic reported that the most recent algae bloom in Qingdao, China has clogged 7,700 square miles of the Yellow Sea. The insurgence of green goop, however, has not stopped children and families from taking a dip while at the beach, but as the algae dies and decomposes, a dead zone and fish kill is expected as oxygen is depleted from the water. Off to Jupiter. NASA sent three little LEGO figurines atop space probe Juno to visit Jupiter. Each LEGO person models a particular character: Galileo Galilei, the Roman god Jupiter, and the Roman goddess Juno. The figurines are made of aluminum and are expected to reach Jupiter by July of 2016. More at Design Boom. Resources at RISD. The Rhode Island School of Design just opened its Materials Library, a long-term student project focusing on design process and material interaction, according to Core77. It's hoped that designers will find a deeper appreciation of material through the tactile experience of holding them in their hands.