Remember those commercials featuring Zack the Legomaniac? His real-world, adult equivalents are known as LEGO Certified Professionals, a designation that only a dozen people worldwide have achieved. One of them is Adam Reed Tucker, a Chicago architect-turned-“architectural artist” that now builds exclusively with tiny plastic bricks. “Working with my hands, creating art and sculpture, the freedom to create and explore my own vision of design without computer reliance, and to share architecture with the world all made this a natural move for me,” he says. “I wanted to work on ways to inspire and motivate those familiar with architectural elements and those with no design knowledge at all.”
Tucker is to thank for the LEGO Architecture product line, launched in 2008 with kits devoted to the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Center. He’s also the tireless brickbuilder behind “LEGO Architecture: Towering Ambition,” on view through September 3 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. Tucker’s 15 globe-spanning LEGO landmarks (including the Empire State Building, Frank Lloyd Wright‘s Fallingwater, and the Burj Khalifa) recently got some new neighbors, as the museum welcomed LEGO versions of 15 Central Park West (downsized by its original designers, Robert A.M. Stern Architects) and a couple of hometown favorites: a Metro station (ZGF Architects) and a traditional center hall colonial home (Gulick Group). Total brick count on the three models? 77,000. This weekend, Tucker returns to the museum to put the finishing touches on his LEGO White House. Stop by between noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday to join in the architectural fun. Can’t make it to Our Nation’s Capital? Build your own LEGO White House (considerably smaller than the museum version) with this 560-piece kit. No word as to whether the gift shop also sells a LEGObama figure to place inside.