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Lego and architecture

Source: Sydney Living Museums

Elissa Blake, ‘Sydney Museum’s Lego exhibition shows how the world’s great buildings stack up’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 December 2014

How do Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers stack up against Taiwan’s Taipei 101? Which is the more architecturally astonishing: the Tokyo Skytree or the Shanghai Tower? And what impact may your own architectural ambitions have on the skyline of the yet-to-be-completed Barangaroo? 

Towers of Tomorrow, a collection of landmark buildings from Asia and Australia realised in Lego, may provide some of the answers. It offers viewers a unique opportunity to compare buildings that have changed the way we think about architecture and invent some of their own, says the lead builder of the project, Ryan McNaught.

“They’re all built exactly to scale and placed next to each other,” says McNaught, Australia’s only certified Lego professional.

“The really cool thing is that you can look at a building that was quite revolutionary 50 years ago – Sydney’s Australia Square, say – and see it next to something being built right now. The difference is extraordinary.”

McNaught, who  has built large historical models for Sydney University’s Nicholson Museum (where his model of Pompeii goes on show early next year), has been working on Towers of Tomorrow full-time for 3½ months. “And that’s with two other builders in the team,” he says.

It took some weeks of “robust debate” to even decide which of Asia and Australia’s buildings should be translated into Lego for the exhibition, which opens at the Museum of Sydney on Saturday, December 13.

“Its not just about height anymore,” McNaught says. “Lots of other things come into play when you’re talking about the game-changing buildings in the world; sustainability and environmental impact and integration into the existing community.”

Towers of Tomorrow is the culmination of months of thinking about ways to combine architecture and creativity, says Beth Hise, head of interpretation and exhibitions for Sydney Living Museums. “Architecture has always been a key area for us and we wanted to make something inspirational that allowed people to get stuck in.”

Read more here.