Probably the first building that comes to mind when we think of a skyscraper – the Empire State Building has rightfully earned its place in history and popular culture as the most iconic skyscraper of all time. Built in 1931, the Empire State Building remained the tallest building in the world for almost another 40 years. Other modern skyscrapers have since dwarfed the Empire State Building in height, but it still remains as popular as ever, drawing millions of visitors from all around the world every year.
This is the very first LEGO model I built and as you can imagine there was a bit of a learning curve involved. I had to intuitively figure out the process for designing a model that could represent the original building as accurately as the LEGO medium would allow.
The Empire State Building doesn’t just rise vertically upwards – it does so with a series of setbacks (the higher it rises, the narrower it becomes). The LEGO model had to be designed in sections based on where the setbacks were located. I decided to use an old-fashioned design approach by creating sketches on graph paper using a pencil. I converted the dimensions of the real building (measured using Google Earth) to the correct number of LEGO studs based on the scale I had chosen (with each grid unit on the graph paper representing one stud). When I had a sketch showing a view from the top of all the different sections overlaid on each other, that was just the blueprint I needed to start building my model.