LEGO has unveiled their latest model in the Architecture Landmark series: the Gate of Exalted Ceremonies in Seoul, better known as the Sungnyemun. Sungnyemun is the series first Asian landmark and one of the most complete examples of Joseon Dynasty architecture. Standing in the heart of Seoul since 1398, Sungnyemun was once one of three major gateways through Seoul’s historic city walls. It is listed first among the National Treasure of South Korea. Sungnyemun is the fifteenth model in the LEGO® Architecture series, which uses the LEGO brick to interpret the designs of iconic architecture around the world.
“Sungnyemun survives as a symbolic marker of a lost place in time,” says the architect and designer of many of the LEGO models Adam Reed Tucker. In capturing the essence of Sungnyemun in LEGO bricks Adam looked at the aesthetics rather than engineering, especially the use of colours, patterns and materials that define the ‘spiritual DNA’ of a culture. Construction of Sungnyemun started in 1396 and was completed two years later. It experienced numerous alterations and renovations throughout the next 600 years. Sadly,the wooden structure was completely destroyed by fire in 2008. It is expected that restoration – using traditional hand tools – will be complete at the end of 2012. The LEGO 21016 Sungnyemun was officially launched in the Danish Pavilion at the EXPO 2012 exhibition that is currently being held in Yeosu, South Korea. It will be available for purchase from June 1 in LEGO brand retail stores, LEGOLAND Stores and online at a recommended retail price of $34.99 of €34.99.