My latest Lego architecture project is now complete – the beautiful 1960s Civic Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. The Civic Centre is home to Newcastle City Council, and the building has always interested me. I’ve photographed it internally and externally a few times in my role as an architectural photographer. It has some great features, some of which were easy to replicate in Lego, others less so. All the straight lines and repeated patterns were fairly easy, though being a stickler for detail still required a number of attempts. The rather ornate section on top of the main tower has been quite a compromise at the scale I’ve worked at – the Seahorse heads that protrude from each green upright were a step too far! And the infamous God of the Tyne statue that hangs from the wall near the circular Council Chamber had to be represented by a micro-figure.
Overall I’m very happy with the result. My aim is always maximum detail and accuracy possible for the scale, and I think this has been achieved. Even the ‘sand green’ colour Lego produce is a near exact match, though they don’t produce the circular dishes used for the roof of the Council Chamber in that colour, which it is in real life.
Scale – approx 1:325
Size – 20 inches square in total (uses 4 of the 32×32 stud baseplates)
Number of bricks – Very approximately 3000-3500 (I didn’t keep track)
Time to build – a couple of months, on and off
For those of you unfamiliar with the Civic Centre, here’s a shot of the real thing. I should also say that this project was a personal interest one, rather than a commission, so Newcastle City Council knew nothing about it until recent tweets!
Really excited to have installed a few of my smaller models in the Lego store at the Metro Centre, Gateshead. They will be there until July, as part of the community display box organised by the Brickish Association. The models featured are the Wills Building and the signage for the Tyneside Cinema, both great examples of Art Deco architecture in Newcastle. There’s also a tiny BALTIC and Angel of the North…