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Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, now in LEGO

  • Published at 01:21 am July 21st, 2018
Juditha assembs the national assembly building with LEGO bricks at ToyCon 2018 fair on Friday <strong>Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune</strong>
Juditha assembles the national assembly building with LEGO bricks at ToyCon 2018 on Friday Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

In an interview with the Dhaka Tribune’s Rosemary Zenith, LEGO enthusiast and Gemcon Group Director Juditha Ohlmacher discusses her reasons and plans for a diorama of the parliament building

Taking pride of place at ToyCon 2018 this weekend will be a scale replica of the Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad.

While the original building was built over a period of 20 years from reinforced concrete, the model on display at the Midas Center in Dhanmondi took a fraction of the time and was made entirely from LEGO bricks.

The artist responsible, Juditha Ohlmacher, would love to see her design incorporated into the LEGO Architecture product range designed by ‘Architectural Artist’ Adam Reed Tucker and first released in 2008. 

“We see LEGO models of architectural landmarks from around the world, like the New York skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Eiffel Tower,” Juditha told the Dhaka Tribune. 

“Unfortunately, although Bangladesh has one of the greatest architectural designs, we didn’t have any LEGO representation of it yet and that is what inspired me to build this model.”

The modernist national assembly building in Dhaka was designed by US architect Louis Kahn, whose guiding philosophy was to represent Bangladeshi culture and heritage through a striking use of geometric shapes. 

Although Kahn began working on the design in 1962, the building was not completed until 1982, eight years after his death. 

Juditha, in contrast, spent a whole year recreating the Jatiya Sangsad with painstaking attention to detail – from the plazas and the courts to the columns, stairs, and the lake. Even a miniature tree peeks out from inside the main plaza.

It makes for an unusual sight at the entrance to ToyCon, with two variants of the Batmobile parked behind it. 

“When I started taking LEGO building seriously, I discovered it can create a whole new world,” Juditha said. “You are not limited to the real world anymore and can think of all the possibilities that the world has to offer.”

Not content with building one model, Juditha has reconstructed the JS in three different sizes. The largest, trophy-size model was built from 8,000 bricks, while  micro and a nano-size models accompany the larger diorama on display.

“I intend to submit my model to LEGO Ideas so that they mass produce this for LEGO lovers,” she said. 

For it to be accepted, Juditha needs her submission to attract 10,000 votes on the LEGO website. 

“In order to submit something to LEGO Ideas, you have to build it first,” she said. 

“So (now) I plan to reach out to as many people as possible. I am actually very excited and inspired by the reaction I’m getting.”

Juditha is collecting emails to support the project. 

“This way I can keep people informed and let them know, yes, the project is ready and you can go and vote for it now.”