Another brick near the Dáil – a couple spend five years recreating the National Library entirely from Lego

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has revealed an exact Lego model of its historic headquarters on Kildare Street, which was built to showcase the library’s ongoing redevelopments.

master ego builders Breda and David Fennell spent five years creating the model that will be displayed in the library’s lobby next year.

The model is one of the largest of its kind in Ireland, measuring 180cm x 168cm wide and 60cm high.

“When you see people’s faces, they’re so amazed at what we’ve created, it’s a great feeling,” Mr. Fennell said.

“It’s been a long time coming, so it’s exciting to see it. It’s great that it’s open to the public and they can come in and see the details of the model.

“Hopefully when the refits are complete, the real library will look like it now.”

Mr and Mrs Fennell have been building with Lego since they were children, rekindling their love for the colorful plastic bricks when their son started playing with them as a child.

Since then, the duo have built models for the Convention Centre, Heuston Station and Arnott’s, among other landmark buildings in the city of Dublin.

‘We are building and have built other models before this, and when the National Library of Ireland approached us we were looking for our next project,’ the couple said.

When the developments are complete, the library will host several new public spaces, exhibition galleries, a new cafe and shop and space for people to sit and enjoy.

NLI Acting Director Katherine McSharry said their vision for the library had a sense of creativity and fun and that’s why they chose a Lego model to display the revamped design.

“David and Breda Fennell who did the model for us just did an absolutely amazing job,” Ms McSharry said.

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Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, Acting Director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large scale Lego model of her building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan

Elodie Kerrigan (8) and Katherine McSharry, Acting Director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large scale Lego model of her building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan

“A colleague of ours saw a Lego model in another building in Scotland and thought ‘what an amazing way to showcase the building.’

“So we took a look at Brick.ie where you can find Lego master builders in Ireland and approached the Fennells; they’ve done other iconic buildings and we thought, that’s a good match for us.

“They really picked out some of the main features of the building, there are some really fun little rooms when you look in them, they really helped us imagine what the revamped library will look like.”

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Katherine McSharry, Acting Director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large scale Lego model of her building on Kildare Street, Dublin.  Photo: Marc O’Sullivan


Katherine McSharry, Acting Director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large scale Lego model of her building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan

Katherine McSharry, Acting Director of the National Library of Ireland, pictured with the large scale Lego model of her building on Kildare Street, Dublin. Photo: Marc O’Sullivan

Work on the actual library has been underway since 2017 and Ms McSharry hopes the library will be completed within the next two years.

“The way we have planned the building is really like a puzzle, where we move the pieces around to minimize disruption to visitors.”

Lego builders from across Ireland will display their works at Brick Féile from 16-17 July at the City North Hotel

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