Experimental Cities


A free model of a city


Villa Savoye LEGO Set 21014


`Le Corbusier has always been an inspiration to me. His architecture is harmonious, well-balanced and coherent. His philosophy and his opus are timeless and yet still far ahead of his time at the same time.

One of the great examples of this work – and one of my favorites – is Villa Savoye: closed and seemingly impregnable from the exterior, open and organic from the interior. With the building he reached two contradicting characteristics at the same time: isolation from and relation to nature.

The biggest challenges oft he LEGO model construction – which took more than 15 versions to reach its final state and included the help of most experienced designers from the LEGO team – were the pillars and the complex roof design.

At first I constructed the pillars from 1×1 round bricks, but they always seemed oversized. In the final version, after consulting with the LEGO design team, I used the blades from LEGO light sabers, which in turn presented another challange when it came to anchoring them to the base plate. When attempting to construct the roof elements, I was amazed yet again by Le Corbusier`s art: nothing is coincidental and every change in his design principals led to imbalance and disharmony in the model`

– After 18 months development and time to market, I`m proud and happy to see it in trade –

Michael Hepp

-The idea of living-how we want to live

The idea of living – always addresses the question of art, culture and education. Therefore the city, the metropolis itself can be seen as a creative (battle) field for architects and visionaries during the last century. Most iconic buildings are results of an innovative heroic struggle towards an idea of modern living.

The city of Berlin too is a  ́zeitzeuge ́ (contemporary witness) of a fascinating long tradition of designing utopias during various decades.

Mies van der Rohe was an experimental visionary who designed in the early year 1921 the skyscraper for the Friedrichstrasse (unbuilt) – an abstract unique architecture addressing the idea of `new ways to built` (Neues Bauen) after the years of the World War II. But it took more than 40 years before he got the chance to build his icon of modernity The National Gallery in the year 1968. But not only Mies van der Rohe shaped the landscape of Berlin with his architecture. Beside him a huge modern movement worked on the idea of living and proposed concepts and plans for habitats in Berlin. Beside the international competition `Gross Berlin 1957` the International Building exhibition `The Internbau – Hansaviertel` showcased of future city of tomorrow. World-renowned architects designed outstanding architectures – Alvar Aalto, Oscar Niemeyer and Walter Gropius used to part that exhibition, which last their architectural echo in the landscape of Berlin until today. Even Le Corbusier`s built `wohnmaschine` (unitat) is on of the famous icons of that time. The Hansaviertel therefore can be seen as an architectural monument and a model how a `city of tomorrow` should have been. It also stands s for a debate of modernity – beginning in year 1931 with the inauguration of charta of athen (CIAM), to building up the `Team X` during the 50ths and the Expo Montreal in 1967 and got finalised into the movement of Archigram in Europe and metabolist (Kenzo Tange) in Japan beginning the 70ths. This modern thinking can be exhibit even until today by celebrating unique architecture icons of the past – the skyscraper of Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier ́s Wohnmaschine or the Habitat Project (Expo1967), etc. All this buildings are an impression of thinking processes, which are still modern and utopia, at the same time even today and still address the question of how we want to live.

Author Anne Fenk, Lego Michael Hepp

Die Wohntypen der Wohnmaschine von`Le Corbusier`neu interpretiert

The type of  space, unique living maschine `Le Corbusier` reinterpreted