What’s On: Lego Architecture – Towering Ambition

Lego Fallingwater
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Artist Tucker with elements of the Chicago skyline
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Left: The Lego Gateway Arch and Transamerica Pyramid; Right: Lego Jin Mao Tower and Trump Tower Chicago
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Left to right: the Chicago Spire, the Burj Khalifa, the Jin Mao Tower and Chicago's Trump Tower
Lego Fallingwater
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The National Building Museum shows off 15 astounding models of the world’s most iconic structures.

Detailed models of internationally recognized architecture, on display now at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., are marvels of engineering and artistry in their own right. The maestro behind the exhibit is Adam Reed Tucker, one of only 11 Lego Certified Professionals worldwide. The scale, accuracy and detail of the 15 recreations on display are second only to the originals.

Chicago’s skyline is particularly well represented, with models including Marina City and the instantly recognizable corkscrew of Santiago Calatrava’s now defunct Chicago Spire. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Chicago roots are also evident with the inclusion of four other local landmarks: 7 South Dearborn, the John Hancock building, the Sears Tower, and Trump Tower.

Two more SOM efforts are also depicted: the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, and – the star of the exhibit – the financially troubled Burj Khalifa. Rendered as a massive 17 and a half foot tall structure, the structure is composed of some 450,000 Lego bricks.

Not all the models are skyscrapers, though. Eero Saarinen’s St. Louis Gateway Arch and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater are present, and a version of the White House was completed on-site in April. The exhibit comprises nearly 582,000 Lego bricks, and represents 2642 hours of Tucker’s design and construction – which works out to 66 forty-hour work weeks.

If the exhibit leaves you feeling inspired, you can try your hand at making a structure with the blocks provided in the Exhibition Play Pit.

Lego Architecture: Towering Ambition runs until September 3, 2012 at the National Building Museum, located at 401 F St. NW

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