The Rockefeller Center in LEGO

Here at Ralph Hancock Dot Com we are always on the lookout for new ideas and ways to spread the story of the garden design genius from Wales. And recently, we found two fabulous designs made from the LEGO building brick that have both incorporated the gardens, created by Ralph into their designs.

The first design is by Deep Shenoy. Deep has an interest in the skyscrapers of New York, especially those built during the 1930’s. He has built LEGO models of many of the iconic ones from the time period. Deep told us that his “portfolio“ wouldn't have been complete without a model of 30 Rock. And, while he originally set out just to build a model of this building, he eventually decided to expand the project to include the entire Rockefeller Center as it was originally built.

We caught up with Deep during the design phase of the build. He explained that since there is a lot of information regarding the Rockefeller Center, which was readily available on the internet (especially on Wikipedia, he didn't have to do any other research. He added that, on our advice he reached out to Dr William Bartlett (Historian for NBC) and obtained a picture of the restoration plan for the gardens (see: Rockefeller Restoration). Deep’s original design didn’t include the gardens which Ralph had created but after we contacted him, Deep decided they needed to be added to the project.

The design process for the buildings themselves was relatively straight-forward. He used Google Earth to obtain all of the dimensions he needed which he then was able to convert to “LEGO studs” based on the scale he had picked. The model itself was built and rendered in a 3D design package ( available on BrickLink, a subsidiary of The LEGO Group.

After Deep had completed the build he decided to expand his model a little bit to include 75 Rockefeller Plaza which he had left out earlier in the design process.

Deep told us that the model itself is unlikely ever to be constructed from actual LEGO bricks just because of the number of bricks needed and the size of the completed build.

Here are the final stats for the completed model:

Scale - 1/180
Piece Count - 102,364 individual LEGO bricks
Dimensions of the model (if it were actually built) - 6 feet x 6 feet x 4.5 feet tall.

Deep recreated the newly restored 11th floor roof gardens based on designs supplied to him 
by Dr William Bartlett, staff historian at NBC. He even recreated much of the planting, including trees and grass areas as well as the pathways and the truncated river.

A birds eye view of the restored gardens on the 11th floor. Much of The Gardens of the Nations designed and built by Hancock have been lost over time. On the upper left is where the river and rock gardens lay. On the upper right was Ralph’s English Garden which included his own private garden. Deep has recreated the gardens restored by NBC incredibly accurately.

Here Deep has created the gardens found on the lower levels. To the far left is Hancock’s garden on La Maison Francaise. To its right is his garden on top of The British Empire building. The other gardens were not by Ralph but followed a similar design. Both of Ralph’s gardens were restored in 1987.

A closer look at the two gardens. Deep has also included both of the shallow pools 
as well as all of the planting. Between the two buildings are the Channel Gardens. 

You can follow Deep’s wonderful designs on Instagram by searching @deepshen6. There you will not only find his Rockefeller builds but also his many other iconic New York skyscrapers.

The second design we found was also from instagram, although the project itself has now been added to The LEGO Groups “ideas” website. This unique website allows fans of LEGO to submit their own ideas that could potentially become future “official” LEGO sets. We urge you to checkout the page on LEGO ideas and to give your support to the project. 

Lego_weylin, or simply Weylin has also designed a model, built from LEGO bricks, but on a smaller scale than that by Deep. Based on the scale of an already existing LEGO set of the Empire State Building. Weylin told us that his build incorporates 690 tan grill pieces to emulate the Art Deco style of the building. And, that the building also includes a miniature of the LEGO Brand store in the British Empire Building as well as the world famous ice skating rink.

When we initially caught up with the designer of this wonderful model, he told us that he would also like to attempt to include a nod to Ralph’s creations if the scale used allowed it. As you can see from his later images, Weylin has achieved that, they look darn good too!

A closer look at the 11th floor gardens. Considering the scale of the build, 
Weylin has managed to include a great deal of detail.

From the front of the project you can clearly see the two lower level roof gardens. 
Quite a remarkable feat as this part of the build is only a few inches high.

Weylin’s LEGO ideas submission didn’t include the gardens.

A look at the internal structure of the main building. 

Here’s a little bit more about Weylin’s LEGO ideas project:

Height - 31cm
Piece Count - 2025

You can follow Weylin on Instagram by searching @lego_weylin. You can also give your support for Weylin’s LEGO ideas project by following this link.

Ralph recreated in LEGO standing in his English Garden

We are incredibly delighted to have been given permission By both Deep and Weylin to share their photographs and designs. They have certainly captured the unique look of the Rockefeller Center and the other buildings connected to the complex. The addition of the gardens, created by Ralph in the mid-1930’s, is a real thrill and we thank them both for their inclusion.