A New Jersey artist has made an impressive tribute to the One World Trade Center tower by designing and assembling an exacting Lego replica of the downtown skyscraper.
Greg DiNapoli, a graphic designer and architectural illustrator, told us that the 8-foot tall Lego replica of 1WTC took him eight months to build and involved using 25,000 Lego pieces in the construction.
DiNapoli says he's built a couple other large-scale building replicas, including a 6,000-piece 4-foot replica of the Citigroup Center and a 8,000-piece 6-foot tall Sears Tower replica. However, nothing he built previously came close to the 1WTC replica. The quest to build this replica tower actually dates back to 2011, according to DiNapoli, which is when he began sketching the plans for the sculpture.
Last year, DiNapoli visited the tower to get pictures of it from a few angles, modeled the design using a computer program, bought the necessary Lego pieces in bulk and finally got to work attaching one piece to the other. The result is extremely detailed, from the ground-floor plaza in front of the building to a recreation of the rooftop array and spire at the top of the building.
DiNapoli told us that the dream of building Lego replicas of his favorite city skyscraper goes back to his childhood, and that his "childhood ambition returned" after seeing the final design for 1WTC. "I grew up enamored with the Twin Towers. I had such an interest in tall skyscrapers, and you didn't get much bigger than them," Di Napoli said.
And unlike Banksy, DiNapoli says he sees a lot to love in the sometimes-maligned building. "I love the simple geometric form of the tower, but also the shape's complexity; it changes shape depending on what angle you look at it," DiNapoli said. "At one angle, it invokes an obelisk similar to the Washington monument, but at another angle it actually holds the exact same form of one of the original twin tower buildings. I think it is a great memorial to what once stood there, and for the lives lost."
DiNapoli's Lego homage isn't the first or the biggest—last year, a 26-foot tall Lego replica of One World Trade Center went up in California's Legoland.
And while DiNapoli said he's a fan of 1WTC, it doesn't sound like Two World Trade Center Lego model is on its way.
"While I am a fan of Bjarke Ingles and I think he is an amazing architect, I don't really like his proposed 2 World Trade Center. I just don't think his design fits in with what the original developers envisioned, and it looks out of place. I much favor the original design by Fosters and Partners," DiNapoli said.