Architect/artist Adam Reed Tucker with his LEGO creations.
Visitors tour the exhibit at the National Building Museum.

Cachet- Towering Ambition

Exploring architecture, one brick at a time

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011

Nothing illustrates the full potential of architecture like a skyscraper—a daring creation that seems to defy the laws of physics and gravity. An exhibit currently at the National Building Museum celebrates some of the world’s most famous skyscrapers on a human scale using a medium that is familiar to audiences of all ages: the LEGO brick. 


“LEGO Architecture: Towering Ambition” features 15 large-scale models of iconic structures assembled by Adam Reed Tucker, an architect/artist who has been fascinated with LEGO bricks since the age of six. His creations illustrate the sheer grace and complexity of such landmarks as the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center and the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Tucker created his models without the use of blueprints, computer modeling or even pencil and paper. He built and re-built sections five or six times until he felt they were right. “I do not view my models as literal replicas but rather artistic interpretations that capture the essence of their sculptural form,” says the artist. One of 11 LEGO Certified Professionals worldwide, Tucker has created a series of Architecture sets that allow enthusiasts to build LEGO models of iconic structures. (The kits can be purchased on his company’s Web site, brickstructures.com.)


Tucker’s museum exhibit includes an interactive area where visitors construct their own projects with some 300,000 LEGO bricks at their disposal. One work in progress—Tucker’s rendition of the White House, begun last summer—illustrates his artistic process; he will return in the spring of 2011 to complete the piece. The exhibit remains open through September 5th. nbm.org 

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