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10K Club Interview: Meet Marco Schwaerzel of Venetian Houses

Have you ever fancied a gondola ride through the canals of Venice? Perhaps dressing up to attend a masquerade during the Venice Carnival? Well, all your Italian dreams can start right here in the Venetian Houses built by this week's 10K Club member Marco Schwaerzel a.k.a. McMarco

Help us congratulate Marco on joining the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club and for sharing his story with us!


About Yourself

  1. Where are you from?
    I live in Bern, Switzerland.
  2. How old are you?
    I am 44 years old.
  3. What do you study or do for a living?
    For 20 years I’ve worked in IT and I love developing mobile apps and designing modern IT-architecture. 
  4. What hobbies do you have?
    I love to be outside and work out with my mountain bike or enjoy some hours on my stand-up-paddle board on the nearby lake, if it isn’t too windy. One of my indoor hobbies is reading about architecture and constructing buildings with LEGO.
  5. How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
    I’ve played and built with LEGO bricks as long as I can remember. When I was about 5 years old, my older brother showed me how to build real cool LEGO pirate ships, so that they looked more stable and more genuine than mine. Since then I’ve been addicted.
  6. What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
    From an architectural point of view, that’s an easy question: the 10253 Big Ben. The detailed facade of this model with all the statues and windows is just wonderful. I love London and I feel at home there. If this would exist, I would build the whole part of Westminster in LEGO including Westminster Abbey, the Palace and the Bridge.
  7. What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
    The classic 2 x 4 brick. As a child I’ve built towers from the ground almost up to the ceiling. And bridges between sofas. And thousands of other things. This simple brick remains my favorite.
  8. Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
    The exhibition of Nathan Sawaya in Zurich was amazing. But most of all I am inspired by the official designers of the LEGOLAND parks in Denmark and Germany for building Venice and other parts of great towns.
  9. Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
    From time to time I browse through some Pinterest pages with LEGO content to see what others build.

About Your Project

  1. Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
    I’ve visited Venice several times over the last years. I like the colors, the atmosphere, the buildings, the water, the people, everything there. And since the big cruise ships have been banned, the air is better there.

  2. What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
    It was difficult to find a good balance for the two parts. None of them should dominate the model and additionally the parts should work alone as well. I therefore started several times and changed the proportions of the buildings.
  3. How long did it take to complete the model?
    I worked nearly every evening for 6 weeks. I have thoroughly rebuilt the two houses in LDD several times until the proportions and colours fit. Plus two additional weeks for the renderings.
  4. How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
    I was very happy and a little proud about this milestone. It took 11 months to reach the 10k votes. Today I’m happy that I have started twice. The first version of the project had poor renderings. After a week of extra rendering time on my computer, I deleted the first version and restarted the project with much better images!
  5. Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
    Unfortunately, not a single one. The model only exists as a LDD project with about 4500 bricks – a lot of them in form of books for the well-assorted selection in the library in the first floor.

About LEGO Ideas

  1. Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
    I think, for buildings the most important thing is a good balance between proportions and colors. I browsed through a lot of images of typical Venetian buildings to abstract the important elements.
  2. What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
    There are so many fantastic and stunning projects! The Art Gallery in the Canal House (haperon), the Memorial Hospital (ruimrbranco), the modular Autumn Park (BrentWaller), the Lighthouse (RobenAnne), the Vintage Motorcycle (maximechang03) and so many more!
  3. What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
    The sheer amount of new ideas and techniques. I think it is a good piece of advice to choose and build models which you would buy yourself without hesitation - if you would see it in a store and money would not matter.
  • lego ideas
  • 10k club
  • marco schwaerzel
  • venetian houses

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