By Sara Brown  www.shelterpop.com

Step inside DC’s awe-inspiring National Building Museum, and you’ll feel as if you’re gazing out upon some of the world’s most magnificent skylines. But these stunning structures aren’t made from concrete and steel. Nope, they’re made from one of the most beloved childhood toys. You guessed it – LEGOs.

Buildings, from far left to far right: Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright, Trump Tower Chicago, Burj Khalifa, Shanghai's Jin Mao Tower, Empire State Building. Photos: Courtesy of Adam Reed Tucker
Buildings, from far left to far right: Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright, Trump Tower Chicago, Burj Khalifa, Shanghai's Jin Mao Tower, Empire State Building. Photos: Courtesy of Adam Reed Tucker

The mastermind behind the LEGO Architecture: Towering Ambition exhibit is Adam Reed Tucker, a trained architect and longtime LEGO enthusiast. He began experimenting with LEGOs as a medium for his art back in 2003, and the result is nothing short of spectacular: 15 famous buildings made entirely from LEGO bricks.

“Like many kids, this was a hobby of mine that started when I was in grade school, but I eventually grew out of it,” says Adam. “My passion for building and design continued though, and once I was a professional architect I realized that I was bored with designing solely on the computer.” Soon Adam found himself looking for a new avenue for creating, especially after the events of September 11, 2001.

“I wanted to find a way to teach people more about the design, engineering and construction that goes into a building, particularly skyscrapers, which can be intimidating,” says Adam. “Going back to my childhood interest, the LEGO brick was the perfect approachable medium to use to build these structures and explain their design.”

Plastic piece by plastic piece, Adam (one of only 11 LEGO Certified Professionals in the world) started to create large-scale models of some of the world’s most recognized structures, including the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center (Tower 1), Trump Tower, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. The simple construction of the LEGO gives viewers a closer look at familiar buildings. Plus, they can walk right up to the models to get a closer look at the complexity of each building.

“The goal is to provide people with a greater understanding and appreciation of the architecture and design through the use of a medium which everyone is familiar with,” says Adam.

All of the 15 structures in the exhibit were built over the past four years, including a large model of The White House, which is still a work in progress. (It will be completed by Adam on return trips to the National Building Museum throughout the next year.) The exhibit runs through September 2011.

Love LEGOs? We love this LEGO kitchen, this LEGO iconic bench and this building, which set the record for the tallest building made of LEGOs.

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