Posts Tagged ‘Encinitas’

Kaiser Permanente Model

November 6, 2014

In September I was asked by Kaiser Permanente to create a replica of their new hospital being built here in San Diego. Now as the building is still not built, all they had to give me was rendered images of what it will eventually look like.



This is not the first time I’ve built a hospital, in 2010 I built a replica of the Critical Care Unit for Scripps Encinitas Hospital also from rendered images, although I was also able to get the blueprints in that case. In fact it is still on display in their lobby to this day.

The tricky thing with this model was that they wanted it fast — in two weeks fast. Now generally I don’t take on a commission when there is that tight of a deadline, but as they only wanted the model to be 2 feet long, and I had the parts needed on hand, I was able to say yes.


Most of the building was a standard multi-level building, mostly square with lots of windows. Except for one thing — the corner of the building. It was a wavy curve. Aesthetically pleasing but not all that easy to replicate in LEGO.

It took me a little bit of time to figure out exactly how I was going to do it. At first I tried hinges, but the curve wasn’t coming out right, so I had to try a different tactic.


Now like I said, it was lucky that I had enough of all the parts on hand, I didn’t really have time to order the 2000 1×2 trans light blue tiles that I ended up using on this model.

And to ensure that the curvy wall was securely attached, I did some serious S.N.O.T. (Studs not on top).

Another small detail that I wanted to look its best was the windows with the trans blue stripes on the left hand side of the back of the model

I built the windows like this so that they would look clear through, and also attach to the rows above and below them.

As they wanted some landscaping to complete the model, I created some mini trees
They are mostly made with 2×2 round green plates and 1×1 brown cones. It was a fun little challenge to come up with these and create several different versions.

I’m pretty happy with the end result over all. πŸ˜€




The model took about 60 hours overall. Its 2 feet long, 9 inches wide and about a foot tall.

The big “secret” revealed

April 14, 2010

When I said I was back I forgot that I would need a day or two to recover from the weekend and from my commissioned model. I’m still not in tip top form but at least I’m feeling more human.

So, since I still haven’t talked about it yet I will tell you what my big “secret” model is

The new Critical Care wing of the Scripps Encinitas hospital that will be finished in 2013. I took the virtual images along with the actual blueprints and created a 1/50 scale replica.

To give you an idea of size, look at the minifigures in the picture. But here is what the footprint looked like with only baseplates.


As you can see it took up my entire dinning room table. It took me just a little over 5 weeks to go from flat baseplates to finished model.

In general this was a pretty simple model, mostly rectangle in shape and pretty straightforward in design.

The only thing that was tricky was the curved walls in front.

So, how do you go from a funky curved wall and build it back into a straight building? Lots and lots of headlight (or washing machine) bricks and technic 1×1 bricks.

As you can also see, just because the building is white and tan on the outside, the interior bracing is whatever color I had the most of.

One of the cool things about this building is the signature tiles on the roof. Employees and sponsors were given 2×6 plates with three 2×2 gray tiles and asked to sign their names. They had no idea what it was for. After the model was unveiled last Thursday, I noticed several people pointing out where they had signed. πŸ™‚

I’m a pretty messy builder. Ziploc bags and small bins are everywhere. Because this was such a huge project there were bags, bins and boxes all over my floor as well.

In the time frame I had couldn’t have completed this project on my own so I called in some assistants.
Tiffeny Nervig, Kevin Rooten, my brother Mike Asanuma, and even my mom Karen Asanuma helped out with building parts of the model.

One of the things that this building had was a green roof to achieve that effect I used almost a thousand plants. Since LEGO plant plastic doesn’t glue like regular LEGO brick plastic I had to literally nail them down with tiny nails.

The guys that came and picked the model up were really nervous about dropping it. It actually only weighed about 40-50 pounds. They just didn’t want to break it. I assured them that when I make a model I make it to last. πŸ˜€

All of the details like trees, minifigs and cars had to be installed on site. Kevin and I worked till it was too dark to see on Wednesday and up until the last minutes before the event started so that we could get it all finished.

My model even got featured in the local Union Tribune newspaper.

All in all it was a fun project. I hadn’t built something this size since leaving LEGOLAND and it was refreshing to know that I still could. It was nice to deliver the model and even nicer to get my dining room table back. πŸ˜€