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January 18, 2011

Ohio State's Horseshoe — in one million LEGOs


Ohio State University associate professor of physiology and cell biology Paul Janssen (above and below) has just wrapped up his two-year-long project, construction of a 1:100-scale replica of Ohio Stadium in his basement made from over 1 million LEGO blocks.


The stadium can accomodate up to 6,000 LEGO people.

According to today's USA Today story, "He spent more than 1,000 hours on the project, which takes up an 8-foot-by-6-foot area in his basement."


"He spent more than three years acquiring the pieces, then nearly two years putting it together."

According to a Columbus Dispatch story, "He began planning his project in 2005, three years after joining the Ohio State University faculty."


"He studied stadium measurements and satellite images, often taking photos of the press box or other details during games."

He told Cleveland's WTAM 1100, "Five years ago I started collecting the bricks. I started drawing the plans, taking some pictures of the stadium just by walking there during lunch and snapping some shots."


"He says his friends never believed he'd actually build it when he mentioned the idea in passing. He says the biggest challenge came in the curved parts of the stadium since he planned to use only LEGO products without any glue, stickers, or modification."

"Had he bought all new bricks for the project it likely would have run him between $50,000 and $75,000, but he says most of the pieces were already in his collection or traded online."


[Above, OSU President E. Gordon Gee waves to the band]

"His goal is to display his work at the university. It actually comes apart into 10 different sections [each weighing up to 50 pounds] that would allow him to transport it."

According to CollegeFootballTalk, "Building the stadium without any sort of modification proved to be the biggest challenge as the professor often had to spend hours finding ways to make the LEGOs fit his calculations. At one point, he even dismantled an entire side of the stadium after 15 hours of construction because the stands were 'too steep.'"


The Columbus Dispatch story noted that "Most of the construction was completed on weekends, from 5 a.m. until his family woke up about 9."


This ought to be more than enough to gain tenure.

January 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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Wait wait wait ... he has a family? So, he's not a virgin?? Or "when his parents woke up" ??? I'm confused here

Posted by: Ben | Jan 20, 2011 5:14:12 PM

mb, thank you for that clarification.

You may have noted that the Columbus Dispatch piece you cite is one of four (linked) sources I relied on for my post; it is also the source for three of the eight photos that accompany my piece.

Posted by: bookofjoe | Jan 19, 2011 3:44:33 PM

The original article is at http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/life/stories/2011/01/15/the-shoe-block-by-block.html.

Posted by: mb | Jan 19, 2011 1:24:12 PM

Dang, he could have published more if he had been writing......

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jan 18, 2011 12:35:05 PM

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