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Two Huge Versions of Chicago’s John Hancock Center are on View at the Museum

Also of Interest


LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition
July 3, 2010 - September 3, 2012

For a limited time, you can see two large-scale models of Chicago’s famous John Hancock Center at the National Building Museum! Versions of the iconic building are featured in two popular exhibitions: LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition and House & Home.

LEGO® John Hancock Center
Courtesy Adam Reed Tucker

Located at 875 Michigan Avenue in Chicago, the original landmark was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company. Completed in 1969, the 100-story building was the tallest outside New York City at the time. Today, its 1,130 foot height (1,510 feet including the large antennas) makes it the fourth tallest building in Chicago and the 6th tallest building in the United States. From its top stories it features 360 degree views across Lake Michigan and four states: Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and, of course, Illinois. The building’s iconic X-shaped cross-bracing was developed by structural engineer Fazlur Kahn and eliminates the need for support beams inside, increasing the useable floor space. Office space, retail space, and over 700 apartments take advantage of the open floor plan. and the great views.

LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition features 15 buildings from around the world, designed to scale by LEGO® Certified Professional, Adam Reed Tucker, and constructed entirely from LEGO® pieces. Trained as an architect, Tucker rekindled his childhood interest in LEGO® bricks and began experimenting with LEGO® as a medium for his art in 2003. Featured prominently in the exhibition, the scale model of the Hancock building stands at 9 feet tall and took 40 hours to design, 80 hours to build, and used a total of 9,850 LEGO® pieces.

House & Home presents a kaleidoscopic array of photographs, objects, models, and films that explore and challenge ideas about what it means to be at home in America. In addition to its full-scale “please touch” walls made from materials used in residential construction and huge display of household goods, House & Home displays a series of 14 scale models of iconic American homes. The John Hancock Center model towers high above the rest of the models, challenging the idea that home must be a two-story single family house. The Hancock Center, nearly half of which is comprised of apartments, features some of the highest residences in the world.  

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