Like so much about Western Window Systems’ new home in Phoenix, each of the building’s mini-conference rooms holds its own unique character. One is adorned with paintings of famous professional wrestlers. Another is decorated with record album covers.
But by far the coolest mini-conference room is known around the office as “the Lego room,” for the 10-foot-tall Lego sculpture taking up nearly the width of the wall facing visitors as they enter the 80-square-foot space.
The show-stopping sculpture, titled “Giant Orange 4,” for the number of the conference room, is the work of world-renowned Lego artist Eric Hunter, whose custom Lego-sculpting business is called the Art of LeGogh. The Connecticut-based artist is recognized as one of the best constructors in the business, making his name during an eight-year stint as LegoLand California’s Master Model Builder and most recently taking commissions for stunning Lego sculptures all over the world, from Malaysia to Dubai and, now, to Phoenix.
Hunter, who’s been “playing” with the colorful plastic bricks since he was 4 years old, took the Western Window Systems gig and ran with it. So often he’s charged with building replicas of famous buildings or logos. With “Giant Orange 4,” he got to let his imagination run wild.
“It allowed for much more of my personal style to show through than with my typical Lego projects,” he says. “Having complete design freedom (other than it being based around a giant orange four) was a blast! I was able to design each structure within the model however I desired, with as much or as little detail as I wanted. It was like being a kid in a candy store.”
The “each structure” Hunter refers to are small-scale interpretations of some of the more eye-catching projects in which Western Window Systems’ innovative door and window solutions were installed, including the Bridge House in Los Angeles and the Sunset Idea House 2016 in Berkeley.
Hunter says it took 350 hours to design and build the piece, with himself and a team of four helpers using 32,400 standard-issue Lego bricks (no individual bricks or colors are custom-made for the Art of LeGogh) to put it all together. The sculpture was constructed in sections offsite and then delivered to Western Window Systems’ brand-new headquarters for final installation.
“This project had many challenges associated with it,” Hunter says. “The biggest challenge was reverse-engineering the overall sub-assemblies that would ‘easily’ fit together at installation. Managing the time and overall project coordination proved to be more challenging than anticipated.
“The unique nature of this Lego model required that it be laid flat for shipping,” he explains. “It fit wonderfully on the floor of our van, but we had three people in a two-seated vehicle. Add one hammock = problem solved!”
The payoff for that time and work, though, resulted in a memorable addition to the beautiful new Western Window Systems office headquarters. The detail found in the piece is nothing short of dazzling, from the movable doors and window units in the miniature homes to the little Lego people inhabiting them.
“I hope that people, upon seeing the model up close and in person, are captured by the level of detail and diversity of style throughout the entire 10-foot-tall plastic numeral,” Hunter says.
And to be sure, (spoiler alert!) there are more than a few “hidden treasures” to be found for those who take the time to study Hunter’s work of art.
The master builder let us in on a few of these gems.
- The wall mural in the American Café has the correct number of stars and stripes on it.
- There is a window washer on the exterior of the highest building.
- An all-white “marble” statue of a man is holding a “Star Wars” lightsaber is in one model.
- A Lego person delivering pizza to one of the homes is supposed to be Hunter himself.
Whether viewed up close or from afar, Hunter’s “Giant Number 4” is one-of-a-kind, a fitting reminder of the style, attention to detail, and, yes, sense of fun found throughout its new home at Western Window Systems.