Marina City LEGO model built with patience, improvisation
Loop North News


Rocco Buttliere 24-Mar-13 – (Left) A 14-inch-tall LEGO version of Marina City constructed from approximately 5,000 pieces. Rocco Buttliere, an architecture student at Illinois Institute of Technology, completed this model on February 14. It is one of 25 skyscraper models he has designed and built at 1:650 scale.

According to his project page on MOCpages, a website for LEGO fans, it took Buttliere five months to build Marina City.

“Ever since I started making skyscraper models, I have always wanted to do this building,” he writes. The most challenging part of the model was the saddle-shaped roof of what is now House of Blues. It is made from a cloth that was originally a cape used by a character in a medieval LEGO theme. The cloth is folded and held in place by the same tubes that outline the edge of the roof.

Besides special LEGO software to help him design each model, Buttliere travels to downtown Chicago to extensively photograph the actual skyscraper. His models include two other north Loop buildings, 35 East Wacker and Carbide & Carbon Building.

Buttliere says all 25 of his models will be on display at the annual Brickworld convention in Schaumburg on June 15 and 16.

In 2008, architect Adam Tucker built a four-foot model of Marina City from 12,000 LEGO pieces. It was most recently on display at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

(Right) Closer view of Buttliere’s model, looking down on the Dearborn Street side of Marina City. Depicted, left to right, are Hotel Sax, House of Blues, and Marina City’s west tower. Click on images to view larger versions.

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Rocco Buttliere

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News |

Published 24-Mar-13 6:37 AM

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