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Notre-Dame de Paris | by Rocco Buttliere
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Notre-Dame de Paris

As someone with a background in architecture and, shall we say, a certain fondness for replicating world landmarks in LEGO, last month's fire at Notre-Dame left me feeling gutted. That same day, I realized how much I take the world's vast architectural heritage for granted. The day after, I began feverishly designing a model of Notre-Dame so that those who I'm fortunate enough to share it with at exhibitions can learn about its precedence alongside other world landmarks. And from now on, ten percent of all my signed print sales at exhibitions will be donated to The Getty Foundation; a charitable organization that works to preserve and restore architectural heritage in every corner of the world.


This model is special not only for the UNESCO World Heritage site it represents, but it is also my first model to be rendered in a springtime setting- an intentional nod to the cathedral's inevitable rebirth in the wake of its partial destruction. Though I've yet to visit Paris myself, I have always been struck by photographs of Notre-Dame showing the soft, bright colors of its surrounding gardens which fittingly complement the delicate nature of ongoing efforts to preserve its numerous gargoyles and flying buttresses. This delicate balance informed all my design decisions and parts usage; from the spindly ski-poles and screwdrivers adorning the ill-fated vaulted roof and spire, to the dramatically bundled columns of the enduringly stout belfries.


This model will be making its public debut this weekend at #BrickUniverse in Columbus, Ohio!

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Taken on May 21, 2019