(Pictures of my creations can also be found in my BrickShelf folder)
The Belgian Postal Service "De Post" has built four new giant sorting centres (Ghent, Charleroi X, Antwerp and Liege). Once completed, they organized an official opening ceremony for the entire staff of the Postal Service (and their relatives). The slogan of the entire event-campaign was "building a future together". To illustrate the term "building", the DUPLO brick was used as their campaign-image.
The Belgian LEGO User Group BeLUG was asked to build a giant LEGO-wall (with DUPLO bricks!) representing the logo of the Postal Service: a wall measuring 3 metres high and 4 metres wide (approx. 10 feet high and 13 feet wide).
And this is where I come into play: because I had quite some experience with mosaics (LEGO or ministeck), and of course because I had my own mosaic conversion-program, the BeLUG-committee asked me if I wanted to lead this project. I accepted... silly me.
Some members of the club also joined forces to make a small replica of one of the sorting centres.
At the beginning of a guided tour through the entire building each visitor received a DUPLO brick, so that everybody could help with the construction of the wall. Each event was about to last two days: a Friday-afternoon and an entire Saturday. They didn't want us to build up the wall during the event: they wanted a finished wall every day (which meant that we had to tear it down partially to do the same thing over the next day!).
- Ghent: September 29-30 (approx. 4500 visitors)
- Charleroi X: October 13-14 (almost 4000 visitors)
- Antwerp and Liege: scheduled early 2007
Approximately 20.000 DUPLO bricks were ordered: 2x2 and 2x4 bricks in white and red. It had to be a real wall, in LEGO-language a studs-up mosaic. We didn't want the wall tumbling down, therefore preservation of the "brickwall"-structure was very important (wherever possible).
We intended to build approximately two third of the wall before the event. Unfortunately the wall could not be transported in one piece. This meant we had to build up the wall in modules, which gets pretty difficult if you are building in a brickwall-structure. We ended up building pyramids and inverse pyramids to make transport possible.
Here you can see the result of that day (and -almost- everybody who helped, from left to right: Eric, Ludo, Serge, Patrick, me and Vincent). Notice we placed the inverse pyramids one stud forward to be able to take them apart for transport (it was just a test actually to check if we didn't make too many mistakes...).
3. Flaw in organization
The first day of the event we quickly realized there were a few flaws in the organization:
- LEGO is a popular toy: most of the visitors just kept their brick instead of helping us with finishing the wall.
- We only had one small step-ladder to build up the wall. If everybody (at least those who didn't keep their brick) had to climb up that ladder with one brick, it would have taken us several days to finish that wall.
- At the entrance the bricks were not distributed in the same order as they were required. Many visitors simply ended up throwing their brick in a big box instead of the intended interactivity.
How we solved it:
- We asked the people who distributed the bricks at the entrance to give us quickly all the material we would need to finish the wall (luckily I had a bill of materials printed out).
- I kept building in modules so I only had to climb the step-ladder occasionally.
- We let the visitors build their own wall with the (leftover) bricks that were distributed at the entrance.
4. Finally the pictures
- A huge empty backing to build our wall against.
- Work in progress...
- Still work in progress...
- Nearly finished (with mascot Felix).
- BeLUG-colleague Steven asked me to sit in front of it, just to give you an idea of how big it actually is... Approximately 11.000 DUPLO bricks were used.
- Because I didn't have too much faith in the wooden structure, I decided to build around it. Built like this the wall couldn't possibly flip over.
- Event-hostesses Aurelie, Stephanie and (queen) Liesbeth enjoyed playing with the bricks.
- I also got a little help from BeLUG-colleagues Serge, Jean-Marc and Peter.
- Mascot Felix and two lads from catering.
- Mascot Felix got on stage with a DUPLO guitar, with the band "The Incredible Time-Machine".
The logo of the Postal Service appears with kind permission of "De Post".