REN – The real LEGO model

– here seen at Danish Architecture Center for the FORMGIVING exhibition:

I accepted the challenge of building the real world LEGO model based on a LEGO Digital Designer file from Shenghui Jiang. It required some small changes compared to the digital model, but mainly the model is as intended by Shenghui.

René Askham

FORMGIVING

FORMGIVING – A giant exhibition in the Danish Architecture Center, with 71 BIG projects as glimpses of and gifts to our future. In the “Golden Gallery” 25 BIG-designed buildings are recreated in LEGO bricks by LEGO master builders from all over the world. The LEGO-show is on view until October 20, 2019. 

Proud Big Builders joined by Bjarke Ingels at the opening reception. In his opening address, Bjarke referred to our “super-human LEGO skills”
FORMGIVING press photo
FORMGIVING press photo. Kids building the DONG model
FORMGIVING press photo. Kids playing in the LEGO pool in the center of The Golden Gallery
Bjarke Ingels and the MTN model by Esben Kolind
FORMGIVING press photo from the main exhibition.

TSP – The Spiral

The model has now been fully designed in LEGO Digital Designer!

Overall, the model will consist of nearly 5,500 pieces and will feature a façade made up of transparent LEGO plates, with medium blue plates behind. The spiral pattern was surprisingly tricky to account for as it winds its way up the tower, and resulted in numerous half-stud offsets along the broad faces of the building. The windows directly behind each spiral step will feature tan highlights in an effort to differentiate these sections of façade from the rest of the glass. The balconies will also be covered in plenty of greenery and plants in the spirit of the overall design concept of continuing New York City’s Highline into the Skyline!

This image highlights much of the internal structure of the model. It is made up of four stacked modules which are connected with a central 2×2 technic beam. I chose to use pink during much of the design process as transparent elements can be difficult to see in LEGO Digital Designer. This decision also helped with the program’s performance overall.

[Rocco]

TSP – The Spiral

A LEGO model of The Spiral will be build by Rocco Buttliere.

Every new piece starts with a sketch.  As a trained architect, plan and section drawings always help me better visualize the dimensions and massing of the overall building.  The next step is to start designing the model, which will likely be made up of numerous stacks of floor plates, each with different dimensions as the spiral pattern slowly diminishes the overall footprint.  Stay tuned!

In the description of the building, BIG states:

Located at the intersection of the High Line and the newly developed Hudson Boulevard Park on Manhattan’s new western frontier, THE SPIRAL extends the green space of the former train tracks in a spiraling motion towards the sky – from High Line to the skyline. The 1,005 ft high-rise is a unique hybrid that intertwines a continuous green pathway with workspaces on every level. The chain of amenity spaces and terraces originates at THE SPIRAL’s main entrance on 34th street and Hudson Boulevard. The spiral wraps around the tower, which becomes gradually slimmer towards the top. This creates unique floor configurations that will cater to a diverse community of tenants making the building a lively place for businesses of different scales – giving tenants a stake in the buildings iconic skyline presence.

Inside, every terrace becomes a double height atrium with impressive views over Manhattan, offering a more informal setting for meetings, events and recreational activities. These spaces connect multiple levels in the building, offering an alternative to elevators to encourage physical activity and interaction amongst colleagues. THE SPIRAL sets a new standard for the contemporary workplace, where nature becomes an integrated part of the work environment while spatial features are continuously adaptable to the changing needs of the tenants and their organizations.

The stepping form of THE SPIRAL echoes the architecture of New York City’s classic stepped setback skyscrapers and is the natural evolutionary step in the Tishman Speyer portfolio. The silhouette of THE SPIRAL resonates with the iconic architecture of Rockefeller Center while its modern materials and detailing place it at the forefront of contemporary high-rise design on a path to become a future classic on the Manhattan skyline.

XPO – EXPO 2010 Danish Pavilion

A LEGO model of The Danish Pavilion in Shanghai, China will be build by Helgi Toftegaard.

In the description of the building, BIG states:

The Danish Pavilion was designed to not only exhibit Danish virtues, but, through interaction, to give the visitor an experience of some of the best attractions in Copenhagen: the city bike, the harbor bath, the nature playground and an ecological picnic. The bike is a vernacular means of transportation and a national symbol common to Denmark and China. With the pavilion we relaunched the bike in Shanghai as a symbol of modern lifestyle and sustainable urban development. The pavilion’s 1500 city bikes were offered for general use to the visitors during EXPO 2010.

In the heart of the pavilion was a harbor bath, which is filled up with seawater from Copenhagen harbor. The visitors could swim in the bath and not only hear about the clean water, but actually feel and taste it. The Little Mermaid was transported to Shanghai to sit in the waterline of the pavilion’s harbor bath exactly as she is in Copenhagen harbor.

The first step for the model building was to build some tests:

How to build curved
Floor and roof
Facade surface
The bikes are essential in this LEGO model

… and then to the challenging part: getting the model to turn around itself

MAR – The Maritime Youth House

A LEGO model of The Maritime Youth House is built by Anne Mette Vestergård.

In the description of the building, BIG states:

The Maritime Youth House, located on the island of Amager, in Copenhagen, took as point of departure a technical problem related with the physical characteristics of the plot. A third of our budget was allocated to remove polluted topsoil. By covering the site with a wooden deck, we could leave the soil where it was and invest the money on the building, rather than the site’s polluted topsoil. The result is a public landscape of social functions surrounded by water on all sides, breathing new life into a former desolate harbor front.


Two very different users with conflicting requirements had to share the facilities: a sailing club and a youth center.

The youth center wanted outdoor space for the kids to play, while the sailing club required most of the site to moor their boats. The building is the result of these two contradictory demands. The deck is elevated high enough to allow for boat storage underneath while providing an undulating landscape for the kids to run and play above.

APH – Audemars Piguet Hôtel des Horlogers

A LEGO model of APH is built by Jessica Farrell

In the description of the building, BIG states:

Neighboring the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet, the Hôtel des Horlogers is seamlessly integrated into the smooth topography of the scenic Vallée de Joux. Five zig-zagging room slabs expand into a gently sloping exterior path, leading directly to the museum and local ski trails. On the interior, a continuous sloping corridor connects the rooms, facilitating visitor and service circulation. The amenities—two restaurants, a bar, a spa and a conference center—are tucked under the inclined slabs and oriented towards light and views to become individual destinations along the exterior path. From the main access road, the hotel’s tilting slabs frame views of the surrounding Vallée de Joux, establishing a connection between the village and the pastoral landscape.

dav

XPO – EXPO 2010 Danish Pavilion

A LEGO model of The Danish Pavilion, built for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China will be build by Helgi Toftegaard.

In the description of the building, BIG states:

The Danish Pavilion was designed to not only exhibit Danish virtues, but, through interaction, to give the visitor an experience of some of the best attractions in Copenhagen: the city bike, the harbor bath, the nature playground and an ecological picnic. The bike is a vernacular means of transportation and a national symbol common to Denmark and China. With the pavilion we relaunched the bike in Shanghai as a symbol of modern lifestyle and sustainable urban development. The pavilion’s 1500 city bikes were offered for general use to the visitors during EXPO 2010.

In the heart of the pavilion was a harbor bath, which is filled up with seawater from Copenhagen harbor. The visitors could swim in the bath and not only hear about the clean water, but actually feel and taste it. The Little Mermaid was transported to Shanghai to sit in the waterline of the pavilion’s harbor bath exactly as she is in Copenhagen harbor.

In addition to promoting new modes of transportation, the Danish Pavilion was also the only naturally ventilated at the Expo. Air was cooled by the presence of the water, then, following the unique form of the building, moved through the entire space.

CON – Urban rigger

A LEGO model of Urban Rigger is built by Anne Mette Vestergård.

In the description of the building, BIG states:

Recent years have demonstrated a substantial and sustained increase in the number of student applicants throughout Denmark. As the number of students continues to grow, additional student housing will be needed to accommodate them. There are few strategies that allow cities to expand. Yet, Copenhagen’s harbor remains an underutilized and underdeveloped area at the heart of the city. By introducing a building typology optimized for harbor cities we can introduce a housing solution that will keep students at the heart of the city.

Meanwhile, the standardized container system has been developed to allow goods to be transported by road, water or air, to anywhere in the world in a complex network of operators at a very low cost. By making use of the standard container system we are offered the framework for an extremely flexible building typology.

By stacking 9 container units in a circle, we can create 12 studio residences which frame a centralized winter garden; this is used as a common meeting place for students. The housing is also buoyant, like a boat, so that can be replicated in other harbor cities where affordable housing is needed, but space is limited.

LEGO House at London Design Museum

The LEGO Model of LEGO House is on exhibition at the Design Museum in London in the period 12 September 2018 – 6 January 2019.

The LEGO model is part of the “Beazley Design of the Year 2018”. Every year since 2008 hundreds of design experts from around the world nominate the most innovative designs from the past 12 months. LEGO HOUSE by BIG is one of the nominated in the architecture category this year. The nominated designs are on display – and the LEGO Model built by Lasse Vestergård represents LEGO HOUSE.

London Design Museum