LEGO landscape expands along riverfront
Loop North News


Rocco Buttliere

LEGO landscape expands along riverfront

(Left) A stretch of Chicago riverfront sculpted from LEGO bricks. Buildings include, left to right, Marina City, AMA Plaza, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Wrigley Building, and 35 East Wacker. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

Architecture of Chicago River provides inspiration for LEGO artists, who depict our buildings as small and smaller.

18-Nov-14Rocco Buttliere has not rested since building Marina City last year. The architecture student at Illinois Institute of Technology has completed a stretch of riverfront that includes six buildings constructed at 1:650 scale from LEGO bricks.

Marina City, AMA Plaza, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and 35 East Wacker are now depicted.

It took Rocco five months to build a 14-inch-tall version of Marina City from approximate 5,000 LEGO pieces. He says the most challenging part of the model was the saddle-shaped roof of House of Blues.

Rocco Buttliere Rocco Buttliere

Rocco Buttliere

(Above) Rocco Buttliere’s Marina City, as seen from the southwest (top photos) and south (bottom photo).

Besides special LEGO software to help him design each model, Buttliere travels to downtown Chicago to extensively photograph the actual skyscraper.

He now has LEGO models of 20 Chicago buildings. They were displayed last year at the 2013 Brickworld convention in Schaumburg and in February at One Prudential Plaza.

Photo by Steven Dahlman

(Above) Adam Tucker’s LEGO versions of Marina City (left) and Tribune Tower in a window display of The Lego Store at Water Tower Place.

Meanwhile, architect Adam Tucker says his four-foot model of Marina City may soon be available for loan. His Marina City, built in 2008 from 12,000 LEGO pieces, has been displayed at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, and is currently in a window display at The Lego Store on Level 2 of Water Tower Place on North Michigan Avenue.

Tucker, a LEGO Certified Professional, has built LEGO models of John Hancock Center, Trump International Hotel & Tower, and Willis Tower. He is also the lead designer of LEGO Architecture, a LEGO product line that, according to the company, “celebrates the past, present, and future of architecture.”

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News |


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