This model is the biggest LEGO model I’ve ever created. Measuring 3x2m and using nearly 100,000 pieces, this recreation of The Alnwick Garden was revealed in 2020. It is typically on display in the Garden, though not permanently so do check if you want to visit it!
Its possibly also my favourite model to date. The site itself is so varied, with a maze, cherry orchard, water features, walled garden, pavilions, a lake, tiered waterfalls and much more. It took 5 months to design and build, with some sections such as the curved waterfalls proving particularly tricky.
Having built a lot of models of buildings it was refreshing to work with a different colour palette, and to try to get a sense of the organic nature of the site. As with many of my LEGO commissions, the project started with a trip to the site to photograph it extensively. These shots, combined with aerial views from Google maps, allow me to lay out the base and mark up the key features. The change in elevation across the site was important to capture, and this was done partly by using GPS to take readings from various points.
Perhaps the main feature of the Garden is the Grand Cascade – a stunning water feature that flows down from the walled garden towards the pavilion. From a LEGO perspective, this was a challenge, with curved, rising paths and walls, and a hedge that tracks that curvature. Many hours was spent trying to capture this effectively. Regular visitors will also be very familiar with the walled garden, a more formally-laid out area that was great fun to recreate in LEGO.
Don’t forget to try and spot the 12 hidden animals on the model, and if you photograph it feel free to tag me in any photos.