The architect who builds with Lego bricks

A profile of the design and construction brains behind the Lego Architecture series

How many dreams of becoming an architect were inspired by afternoons spent playing with Lego bricks? Adam Reed Tucker, the designer and creator of Lego Architecture sets, lives out those childhood dreams as an adult by playing with the same childhood toys.

But don't call the Lego bricks toys. A profile in the Chicago Tribune reveals that Tucker considers the bricks his artistic medium, a way to model and communicate ideas.

So what does it take to be an architect of Legos? For Tucker, it involved an involuntary hiatus from a lifelong dream of working in architecture. Previously, he was an architect of high end residential projects. When the real estate market tanked and sank his design and construction projects, Tucker suffered a mid-career crisis and found his answer in Legos.

After assessing his skills and what he really wanted to do (something with architecture, working with his hands, working for himself), Tucker started building models of architecturally significant buildings with Legos. In the process, he constructed a new career.

Tucker showed some homemade models at a Lego convention and attracted the attention of Lego executives. The company saw the architectural models as the perfect move to focus on design and recast their product as more than a toy. The models showcase the engineering and design of iconic buildings using an easily understandable, familiar medium.

Tucker is presently one of only 13 Lego Certified Professionals in the world, and his work is currently being shown at the National Building Museum in Washington DC.

The Architecture series is fast becoming as popular and collectible as the Lego Star Wars series. The buildings include the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest tower), the Empire State Building, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, Mies Van der Rohe's Farnsworth House, the Guggenheim Museum, Seattle's Space Needle, and the White House.

The sets are priced on the higher end and, unsurprisingly, grace the shelves of many middle aged architects.

Watch the assembly of the Robie House set:

The Very Model of a (LEGO) Architect [Chicago Tribune]

Image: absentmindedprof

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com