Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

The quick facts

  1. Yes, it's the Eiffel Tower.
  2. Yes, it's blue.
  3. It's about 12 feet tall.
  4. No, there is no glue holding it together.

Some explanation

This model is for a client. I was contacted and asked to build three large landmarks for an event that is to be held in December of 2002. The first I was to build was the Eiffel Tower (I will document the other two projects when finished).

I decided to build the tower out of blue bricks for a few reasons. First, had I used black bricks (my first thought), there would be fewer shadows seen amongst the bricks. Second, I am planning on using the red bricks (my next color thought) for one of the other projects. And third, blue fit better in the overall color scheme given what I had in mind for the other two models.

Knowing that I would be getting the bricks back after the event was over, I decided I would build all of the models without any glue (and thus be able to recycle the bricks back into my supply). The Eiffel Tower, of course, is a rather delicate structure, so building a twelve foot tall version sans glue proved tricky.

I didn't know exactly how tall it would turn out to be. All I knew at the beginning was that the 'footprint' of the base would be 50 inches square; so I started with that and a small picture of the tower and began building.

Since this model has to eventually end up on exhibition in Atlanta, I knew I would have to build it in modular sections that would be small enough to be transportable by car or truck. Thus, the bottom two 'tiers' of the tower are build in quadrant sections (see part of tier 1, and part of tier 2). Once the tower narrowed enough, then the sections could be built as single units. In all, twelve modules are assembled to contruct the completed tower.

I began assembling the sections in the living room of my house, but soon realized it would exceed my nine foot ceiling... I'd eventually have to move it outside. I would build a couple of the modules and then stack them as I went along.

Structurally the only 'cheating' I really had to do was to build a large support pillar in the bottom tier to hold it up (it is visible as the white pillar in the center of the base in this picture). The second tier also has a few minor pillars that are necessary. All of the support pillars, of course, are also made of LEGO bricks (the bottom white pillar is 12 studs wide).

Besides the stability, the other tricky part was constructing all of the fragile lattice work. This is all really just cosmetic and does not add any real strength to the structure.

I finaly built all of the sections, but it was definitely too tall to fit in my house. So, I moved out to my carport. All of the modules had to be moved very carefully, but the whole process ended up being possible as a solo project (here's a picture of me standing next to it -- I'm about 6'3" tall, and the tip of the tower comes in just under the carport ceiling, about 12' high).

Here are a few more miscellaneous photographs:

In all I probably used about 20,000 pieces to build this (that's really a complete guess). No special LEGO elements were used, just a bunch of blue bricks and plates (I went through about 30 'plate packs' from LEGO Shop At Home).

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