Brick Lloyd Wright: LEGO Taliesin West Is the Latest Masterpiece by This A+Juror

Matt Shaw Matt Shaw

Who are the Architizer A+Awards jurors, you ask? Well, members of the esteemed panel comes from all walks of life, including architects, curators, photographers, developers… and even one LEGO-Certified Professional. That’s right, A+Juror Adam Reed Tucker has the LEGO equivalent of LEED certification, but for building intricate, accurate scale models of iconic architecture out of plastic building blocks.

© Andrew Pielage Photography

Working from Arlington Heights, Illinois, Tucker is serious about his full-time job. To build a 6-foot-by-8-foot replica of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece Taliesin West, he used 180,000 LEGOs in 120 shapes and 11 colors. Over 600 hours of research went into the piece, which contains only LEGO bricks — it has no kit parts like new sets like Fallingwater. A group of students helped him make the model, which will be displayed at Taliesin West in Scottsdale through April.

© Andrew Pielage Photography

Tucker has made a business out of what some call toys. After his architecture career fell victim to the recession, he took his talents to LEGO, and has made models for clients such as Snap-on Tools and eBay. He calls LEGO building his “life’s work,” and is dedicated to bringing the rigor and clarity of architectural design to each project. For instance, part of the landscape was wrong, so he spent four hours pulling apart the model to remove the one piece causing problems.

© Andrew Pielage Photography

He keeps a catalogue of almost 14,000 pieces, including their sizes, shapes and colors. Sometimes a piece is only available in a particular set, so he has to search out and buy things like the Star Wars V-Wing Starfighter, which contains a specific red sloped piece, which he needed 16 of, for a total cost him $435. Since there are no blueprints, Tucker is making it all up as he goes along, from an a la carte set of parts.


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