Meet Model Landmarks builder Bruce Reynolds, who expresses his creativity, flair for design, and world traveler’s appreciation for architecture by building, and sometimes re-imagining, some of the world’s most iconic structures.
Getting a Creative Start
“I was a huge Titanic buff as a kid. That was the first model I built,” Bruce Reynolds recalls.
Building the Great Wall of China out of sugar cubes was another early building experience.
“My dad liked to build models, so I guess that’s why I started,” he said.
Reynolds said he wasn’t a model-building perfectionist – at least, not at first.
“When I was younger, I just put them together and didn’t put a lot of time and thought into it,” but that changed, he said, as he grew up and learned more about design.
Recently, he has found his model building endeavors infused with new creativity. He says the hobby – which he had returned to before the pandemic – has become an important and fulfilling diversion since he’s had more time on his hands.
In the past year or so, he has built about 11 models, he has collected a few other (already constructed) models.
In addition to model-building being an obvious outlet for his creativity, the models offer a bit of a virtual escape for Reynolds, who has traveled widely and experienced different types of architecture all over the world.
Wide World of Architecture
Being born into a military family almost certainly fostered Reynolds’ appreciation of architecture. He grew up in Germany, and says that as a kid, he was always aware of different building styles.
“Growing up, I was influenced by the castles I saw in Germany, and other European architecture,” he said. More than appreciating just the structures, he said that early on, he knew he had an interest in design.
As a young boy living in Germany, he said, “I watched the TV show The Brady Bunch, and identified with the father character being an architect. I even used to draw the inside of the Bradys’ (TV) house.”
When the family returned to the US, they settled in Nashville. After graduating from high school, Reynolds enlisted in the Navy.
Searching for Scale Architectural Models
Later, as he decided to return to model-building, Reynolds said he searched online to find landmark building kits that were accurate models of famous structures. The first one he found was Little Building Company’s Sydney Opera House; next, he found the Farnsworth House, and then the Guggenheim.
One of the things Reynolds appreciates about Little Building Company’s models are that they are precisely made to scale. He said that building them allows him to experience the structure “from ground up.”
Reynolds said that the Sydney Opera House (which is recommended only for experienced model builders) taught him some patience.
In addition to the Little Building Co. kits he has completed, Reynolds has also built models of Notre Dame, several castles, a few of the world’s most famous buildings, and a number of US architectural icons.
Another he’s especially fond of is the “Batman Building” in his hometown. The tallest building in Nashville, the South Central Bell office was intended to look like a corded phone sitting in its cradle. The spires were an afterthought, Reynolds said. At one time, it was recognized by a French Arch Magazine as one of world’s most interesting.
Intricate Details Part of the Model Building Experience
Remember that Reynolds said he wasn’t an especially careful model builder? He discovered he has some perfectionist tendencies when he built his first Little Building Co. model kit.
“I remember when I was starting on Sydney Opera House, it was all about the details. Being small, and so intricate, you really have to take your time,” he said. Reynolds says that he is fascinated by that intricacy, especially how it allows you to get to know the “bones” of the building and its design.
Thank you, Bruce, for sharing your stories, your amazing creativity, and love of architecture!
What’s next? Stay tuned! Reynolds is an experienced model builder and we’ll share a video of some of his other creations soon.
Want to share your model building experience? Let us know!