AAR – AARhus

A LEGO model of AARhus, a residental building beeing built at Aarhus Ø in Denmarks second largest city, Aarhus. It is situated right at the harbour front, with water to 3 sides.

The LEGO model is being built by Glenn Knøsgaard. I am living in a small town about 20 km from where AARhus is being built. I wanted to build something local, so it was natural to select AARhus.

The Building

It is a quite a large building with 21 stories. It is shaped like a parallelogram, and the terraces have curved edges, which makes it quite challenging to build in LEGO. There is a court yard in the middle in the height of the second floor.

Choosing a scale

When choosing a scale to build your LEGO model in, you must choose which characteristics of the building are essential to preserve. You cannot include every detail of the full scale building in LEGO bricks.

For this building, the parallelogram shape, the vertical wooden separations between the apartments, and the curved terraces are the essential things to preserve. I tried to find a scale as small as possible, but I could not find any other way to construct the balconies and terraces than bricks laid on the side (SNOT – Studs Not On Top), this makes the horizontal separation of the floors, 8mm thick. The wooden  separators will be made of tiles with hinges.

One of the wooden apartment separators, they come in different sizes and angles.

For this to work each floor in the building must be either 2 or 4 studs high. As 2 studs would let the the balconies seem too thick, I settled for 4 studs. Therefore the height of each floor will be 4 studs plus one brick i.e. 4 x 8mm + 9.6mm = 41,6mm, the real life height is 3150mm which gives a scale of roughly 1:76.

I Then loosely estimated how many LEGO elements were needed, and that summed up to a lot! I closed my eyes and ordered them.

Start building

When the bricks arrived 4-5 months later, I was busy with other projects, and was a bit tired of building. But I have now started the building process.

My building table, not big enough for the entire building.

I have made the walls for the lowest two floors, and it is becoming a bit larger that I anticipated. Before starting building in this scale, you also have to consider that it has to be transportable, and therefore it must be possible to disassemble it into smaller sections. I decided not to make these section larger than they can fit into a standard Euro box (60 x 40 cm outside dimensions) In the 1:76 scale the longest side would be slightly longer than twice what could fit into a box, I therefore squeezed the length and width, so the xy-plane ends up in 1:81 scale, I hope that the architects will not notice the difference in scale between height and width!

The outline of the model, placed on my dining table.
A view at street height.

All balconies and terraces are of cause shielded, I guess that the architects, and possibly also the residents, don’t like heavy fences, so the shielding is pure glass. As this is ment to be as invisible as possible, I completely left it out in my model (meaning that I could not figure out any good way to make it).

Colour

I do not know the exact colours used in the building, but it looks like it will be raw concrete with a very light colour.

LEGO’s light grey is too grey, so I decided for white. The vertical separators are made of wood, I guess it will be natural without oiling or paint, so it will turn greyish with time. As I need to use 1×3 tiles, the only choice was sand yellow, a bit boring, but will do.

Conclusion

This is an interesting building, with huge challenges to reconstruct it in LEGO. It is becoming a much larger project that I thought when I decided to build it (why the heck should I choose this particular building?) I hope it will be finished in time, we’ll see.

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