Calgary·Video

Lego Bow building replica purchased for lobby of The Bow

The Lego scale replica of the Bow office tower is now permanently displayed where most Calgarians can likely agree it belongs: in the lobby of the Bow.

Artist Roy Nelson is thrilled his labour of love will be on display for public to enjoy

Bow building replica finds a home inside the Bow building in downtown Calgary

CBC News Calgary

5 months ago
0:29
Made of roughly 8,500 Lego pieces that took Roy Nelson years to make, the almost-to-scale replica of one of Calgary's tallest buildings can be viewed inside the building it was inspired by. 0:29

The Lego scale replica of the Bow office tower is now permanently displayed where most Calgarians can likely agree it belongs: in the lobby of the Bow.

Building owners H&R REIT purchased the lego structure, which is made up of 8,500 pieces, after artist Roy Nelson posted it for sale on Facebook.

  • WATCH | The almost-to-scale replica was unveiled this week at the actual Bow building in downtown Calgary. See how it went in the video above.

The Calgary artist, who spent several years on the project, is happy his artwork has found a home.

"Normally, you have a creation, you build it, you might have it around for a few years, you display it at a number of shows and then you take it apart and build something else," Nelson said. "I couldn't do this with this model. It was just too hard, the thought of stripping that down, and I didn't have a plan to build another building out of the pieces anyways."

The structure was purchased for $4,000 in December.

The owners of the actual Bow building bought the Lego-look alike for $4,000. Nelson says he's thrilled that his project will now be accessible to the public. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

From now on, Lego Bow will sit behind an enclosed glass case for the public to enjoy.

"My hope was it would end up in the corner on some table in someone's office," Nelson said. "The fact that it's available to the public for other people to to look at, to come by and check out, and then just the the quality of the room and the background and everything, has just been wonderful."

Back in December, when Nelson listed the piece for sale, he told CBC the materials alone were worth $2,200. But clearly, it wasn't about the budget. This was a labour of love, and a challenge.

"It really was the challenge. You lock on to a plan, an idea, and you keep trying," he said.

  • WATCH | A few weeks back, we caught up with the lego-loving Calgarian in the video below to see the finished project before it was sold.

This replica of very tall Calgary skyscraper took 5 years and 8,500 Lego bricks

CBC News Calgary

6 months ago
2:03
Meet the Calgarian whose love for Lego and the Bow building downtown led to more than 250 hours of creating an almost to scale replica of one of the city's tallest buildings, including a nod to the landmark sculpture outside. 2:03

"There was that initial challenge of the design and prototyping, and then 'How many pieces do I need?' And calculating how many one-by-two plates I need to build the thing and finish it off."

Nelson, an analyst with the Calgary Fire Department, is part of an adult Lego-building group that focuses on landmark Calgary buildings. He said he was inspired by the challenge of The Bow tower's crescent shape. 

He is also a member of the Southern Alberta Lego Users Group and the Calgary Lego Train Club.

Nelson said one of the hardest things was translating the dimensions of a real building into Lego dimensions, and then finding the perfect Lego pieces.

The Lego Bow was unveiled in the lobby of the Bow on Monday.

Roy Nelson has sold his scale replica of the Bow in downtown Calgary, constructed from nearly 8,500 pieces of Lego, to the owners of the iconic office tower. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

With files from Justin Pennell.

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