City man recreates Olympic Park with Lego

A boy admires the model
A boy admires the model
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HE wasn’t under quite the same pressure and scrutiny as the teams charged with delivering London’s multi-billion-pound Olympic Games.

But Warren Elsmore’s 250,000-brick Lego replica of the Olympic Park in the UK capital’s East End still took plenty of blood, sweat and tears after the 35-year-old was asked by Danish tourism chiefs to build the model only three weeks before the start of the 2012 Games.

Warren worked up to 13 hours a day at his studio in central Edinburgh, using special tubing and hundreds of hands pulled from Lego figures to recreate buildings such as Anish Kapoor’s Orbit – the 115 metre-high tower next to the Olympic stadium.

The replica has now been made available for public view at London’s St Katharine Docks as part of the Danish National House’s showcase during the 2012 Games and yesterday received its most high-profile visitor – the Queen of Denmark.

Mr Elsmore, who has already built a series of huge Lego buildings, said making the replica for London 2012 was the realisation of a dream.

He said: “It was very complimentary to have the Queen of Denmark come to see it. She seemed very happy with the display and the public reaction.

“I do not think I ever expected things to get this far. It was a child’s dream to be able to build Lego for a living so I’m very happy.”

Mr Elsmore said he had tried to match the Olympic Park as closely as possible. He said: “We must have used a quarter of a million pieces in total. We have built almost the entire Olympic Park – the main stadium, the Orbit, the aquatic centre, the Riverbank stadium and the velodrome.

“The Olympic stadium itself was fairly complicated as it’s oval and there are very few right angles in there. I needed between six and seven thousand bricks to build that alone.

“The most complicated was the Orbit because of the shape.”

Mr Elsmore said making money from Lego – his creations now grace national and international exhibitions – is far from where his professional life started. He said: “I have been an IT consultant for a number of years, so this has been quite a journey”

Kathrine Lind Gustavussen, of the Danish National House, said: “When we contacted Lego, they told us that Warren would be the best person to speak to and he has by far exceeded our expectations.”

Warren’s wonders

WARREN Elsmore has been building spectacular Lego structures for years.

At the Manchester Lego Show in May he unveiled the world’s largest mosaic – a huge image of classic toy figures made from 660,000 bricks.

A Lego model of London’s St Pancras station took him two years – and 120,000 bricks – to build. And a London panorama commissioned by Hamleys had to be pulled after the store was inundated with requests for figures from the public.

In April last year fans all ages helped build a 120,000-brick mosaic of Scotland’s most endangered species, which appeared on the Mound.