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Lego Cities

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Lego Cities and Skyscrapers

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'Lego Architecture: Towering Ambition' at the National Building Museum

No surprise, then, that the National Building Museum's new Lego exhibition is already attracting crowds. Centered on the work of Lego master Adam Reed Tucker, a professional architect, the show features 15 of Tucker's Lego facsimiles of famous skyscrapers and other architectural icons.

In a sunny gallery on the second floor of the museum, compelling large-scale reproductions of the Empire State Building, the Sears Tower (the Chicago landmark now known as the Willis Tower) and the current highest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, stand next to one another, as if relocated to form an ideal city of overachieving architecture. The Burj Khalifa model, which took 340 hours to build, is 17 1/2 feet high and incorporates 450,300 bricks.

"You're actually getting into crushing-strength weight on the bottom bricks," says Tucker, pointing to the lowest levels of his giant Dubai model.

Legos are compulsively attractive to anyone with an interest in architecture. The simple and seductive snap of their plastic coupling system gives professional solidity to the amateur's efforts to model the world. Introduced in their current form in 1958, they were ingeniously designed and are almost indestructible.

Although the company has introduced new products and is trying to construct compelling online and electronic ways to promote the old plastic brick, the most compelling thing about Lego is its unchanging simplicity. If you happen to have a box of pieces from the 1960s, they will snap tightly onto bricks manufactured yesterday.

The Lego brick was also the perfect toy for the age in which it was introduced, which helps explain why Tucker's models have a cultural power that ordinary architectural models might not. Legos arrived at two critical moments in architectural history. The international modern style had spread the rectilinear and functional lines of its austere aesthetic around the world. Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building, in New York City, was finished in 1958, the same year the Lego brick began its colonization of the world's playrooms

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/23/AR2010072302244.html

Photos

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/07/23/GA2010072302146.html?hpid=artslot

Has anyone out there in UP land built Lego models of cities and skyscrapers?

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Has anyone out there in UP land built Lego models of cities and skyscrapers?

This was my dream as a kid, but as an adult I just don't have time for it. I still love visiting the Lego store though!

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I loved LEGO's when I was a kid (back in the 60's). Never gave them a thought after teen years. To bad.

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great article above ... i also built lego cities as a kid, but replaced that void in adulthood by playing simcity.

for those with kids, you can use them as an excuse to visit legoland in california where they have amazing lego cities. I have no kids, but might still take the trip!

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