This model consists of approximately 8,700 pieces.
About this creation
This is my thirteenth custom skyscraper model and my twenty-sixth overall. Prudential Plaza is a multi-building complex situated just north of Millennium Park along E Randolph Street in Chicago. The complex consists of two skyscrapers, the original One Prudential Plaza (formerly known as the Prudential Building) and the post-modern style Two Prudential Plaza.
This is my fourteenth Chicago skyscraper model and my largest one to date, at almost 9,000 pieces. It is also my fourth largest model overall. Originally, I began designing Two Prudential Plaza back in June of 2011. Upon reaching the upper floors, however, I could not find a way to suitably model the forty-five degree rotated pyramid that this building is so well-known for. Coming back to it in April 2013, I started at the top this time and designed my way down from there. This model took about three months to design, about a week to build, and an overall four months to complete. Model completed July 21, 2013.
One Prudential Plaza is a forty-four story skyscraper, completed in 1955. Originally built as the headquarters for Prudential's Mid-America company, the building stood with the city's tallest roof height of 601 ft at the time of its completion, with only the statue of Ceres atop the Board of Trade Building being taller. The mast rises to a pinnacle height of 912 ft.
Two Prudential Plaza stands 995 ft tall and was completed in 1990. Aside from being the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world at the time of its completion, Two Prudential Plaza is currently the tallest building in the world below 1,000 ft. Its distinctive shape features large chevron setbacks on the south and north faces. Using the dark bluish-grey 1x2 plates with angular extension and flexible tip for the upper floors is what convinced me to attempt this model.
With every one of my models, what usually convinces me to attempt it is first visualizing a specific section or element within the fabric of the architecture that would have a seemingly interesting translation into LEGO. In my Marina City model, for instance, it was the 1x8 technic plates with rounded ends that allowed for the rest of the model to fall into place, so to speak. For this model, however, the approach was a little different. I knew that the crown of Two Prudential would be the linchpin that would decide whether this model was doable or not. In some ways, this building is very much like the Chrysler Building of New York City, in that they are both iconic of their respective cities by the crowns of the upper floors. Because of this, I had to design Two Prudential from the top-down.
The lower office floors of One Prudential Plaza. The spandrel between the windows on the fašade of this section is done with old dark grey plates. At the street level along N Stetson Avenue are various upside-down oriented elements, attached with bracket elements.
The forty-four story skyscraper is built using SNOT 1x8 door rail plates that essentially "sandwich" the sideways clear plates, used as windows, and the pearl light grey plates for the spandrel. I used these 1x8 modified plates for the architecture's strong vertical lines on the forty-four story section, but not the lower office floors. This is because the vertical lines in the lower floors' fašade are more flush against the building than its taller portion. The pearl light grey versus old dark grey for the spandrel, is due to the difference in fašade colors and sheen.
Street level details along N Beaubien Court, including the sign for the Giordano's pizza eatery, as represented by dark red and medium orange plates.
The west face of One Prudential Plaza features some clever SNOT techniques. The dark grey panels are held in place between the south face's edges of the rails and the studs of the 1x8 door rail plates. The bottoms of the panels then hold the windows and spandrel in place against the west face's 1x8 door rail plates
The plaza on the northwest corner of the complex, nestled between the two buildings. Again, the angled sidewalk using panels and wedge plates here is inspired from the work of Spencer Rezkalla.
The mast atop One Prudential Plaza is made using pearl light grey flex tube. As expressed by Spencer Rezkalla after he built his new World Trade Center model, using long lengths of flex tube for extended vertical elements faces the problem of warpage due to flex tubes' own pliability. However, I have overcome this almost completely by pushing several train wheel axles inside the flex tube. As seen at the top of the mast, one of the cone-tipped axles is protruding to give the mast its full height.
The large corporate logo reading "Prudential" is represented by a blue 1x1 round tile and blue 1x2 grill tiles.
Prudential Plaza, connected to two of my other Chicago models, Aon Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower.