History of LEGO Architecture
LEGO Architectural Artist
As a LEGO Architectural Artist, Adam Reed Tucker strives to capture the essence of a particular architectural landmark in its pure sculptural form. He does not view his models as literal replicas, but rather as artistic interpretations using LEGO® bricks as a medium.
Adam Reed Tucker’s love of architecture started at an early age in his hometown of Chicago:
“Ever since I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the iconic Chicago Skyline. This later inspired me to explore Architecture in hopes of one day becoming an Architect”.
LEGO Bricks & Architecture
The history of current LEGO® Architecture series can be traced back to the beginning of the 1960s when the LEGO brick’s popularity was still steadily increasing. Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, the then owner of the company, began looking for ways to further expand the LEGO system, and asked his designers to come up with a set of new components that would add a new dimension to LEGO building.
Their answer was as simple as it was revolutionary: five elements that matched the existing bricks, but were only one third the height. These new building ‘plates’ made it possible to construct more detailed models than before.
This greater LEGO flexibility seemed to match the spirit of the age; where modernist architects were redefining how houses looked, and people were taking an active interest in the design of their dream home. It was from these trends that the LEGO ‘Scale Model’ line was born in early 1962.
The name itself was a direct link to the way architects and engineers worked, and it was hoped that they and others would build their projects ‘to scale’ in LEGO elements. As with LEGO Architecture today, the original sets were designed to be different from the normal brightly colored LEGO boxes, and also included An Architectural Book for inspiration.
Though the five elements remain an integral part of the LEGO building system today, the ‘Scale Model’ line was phased out in 1965–it would be over 40 years before its principles would be revived in the LEGO Architecture series we know today.
He did indeed go on to study architecture, and, inspired by his city’s skyline, developed a passion for skyscrapers. It was his wish to communicate the complexity of skyscraper engineering in simple terms that led him back to another of his childhood passions:
“I wanted to level the playing field with something most of us all grew up with and can relate to no matter who you are or where you came from: The LEGO© Brick.
While for many the LEGO brick is not a material typically used as an artist’s medium, Adam Reed Tucker quickly discovered the LEGO brick was lending itself as naturally to his applications as paint to a painter or metal to a blacksmith.
As he continues to explore how to capture new LEGO Architecture buildings with LEGO bricks and plates, he finds the possibilities and challenges they offer almost magical.
Creating a new model
Once the LEGO Architectural Artist has created a new building, the task of transforming it into a full LEGO model falls to Steen Sig Andersen. With over 25 years at the LEGO Group, Steen is one of the most experienced and respected LEGO model builders in the world.
“My task is to look at the model from a construction point of view. It’s important that I stay true to LEGO Architectural Artist’soriginal intentions, but ensure the best components are used for each part and work with what we call ‘the joy of building’. This means making sure the construction process is simple and logical, and a positive experience for the user.”
It takes Steen anything from a few weeks to many months to fine-tune a model depending on its size and complexity. The biggest challenges for both the artist and Steen are often the buildings with rounded lines.
“When you scale things down, it’s more difficult to achieve that rounded look when you’re working with squares and cubes. So with some models a few square edges are inevitable.”
Despite these occasional difficulties, Steen loves working with these models
“I really enjoy my role in the creation of LEGO Architecture products”.