January 17, 2011
Certain Ohio State stars may have been willing to part with mementos of school pride, but at least the Buckeye spirit endures in the School of Biomedical Science: Meet Paul Janssen, Netherlands native and associate professor in OSU's Department of Physiology and Cell Biology. He recently completed two years of obsessive work on an intricately detailed, 1:100-scale replica of Ohio Stadium, featuring 1 million Legos, 1,000 man-hours and no cutting, gluing or painting. From the Columbus Dispatch:
The 42-year-old began plotting his work in 2005, three years after he was hired as an associate professor of physiology and cell biology. [...]
Construction began in May 2009, when Janssen assembled 450,000 pieces for the model's base. The stadium itself can be divided into 10 pieces, each weighing up to 50 pounds.
Building to scale was often a challenge, given that Janssen couldn't re-size Legos to fit his calculations. He spent 15 hours constructing the east side of the stadium before deciding to dismantle it, unhappy with the steepness of the stands.
"I would have been disappointed forever if I built it like that," he said.
Even Janssen's friends in the Central Ohio Lego Train Club (yes, it's real) considered his project "flat-out insane," but the Lego madness in his basement could be put to good use: Janssen hopes to display the replica on campus and possibly use it to raise money for his research on heart failure and muscular dystrophy. The model can seat 6,000 Lego fans, he said, each of whom could represent a donor.
For a full understanding of the craftsmanship and/or obsessive-compulsiveness that went into this, please see the Dispatch's slideshow of Janssen's baby, complete with two-inch replica of OSU president E. Gordon Gee. Indeed, the offseason has arrived. In force.