Evelina London's giant lego model

Posted on Friday 10th January 2020
One of our young patients with her mother and the designer of our hospital's LEGO model

Gary Davis, the creator of our LEGO model, with Marina Yaqobi and her mother.

Our hospital has been brought to life with a model replica made of 60,000 LEGO pieces.

The 1/50th scale re-creation of our hospital building features more than 200 different LEGO Minifigures – including one very special figure designed to resemble our Royal Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.

It was unveiled with the help of patient Marina Yaqobi, who placed the final Minifigure on the model, which was created to look like her. Last year, Marina spent eight months at Evelina London receiving treatment for a serious lung problem and kidney failure.

The LEGO model of Evelina LondonEight-year-old Marina, from Croydon in south London, underwent an operation to unblock her veins, which involved spending two months in our paediatric intensive care unit and having dialysis every night for eight months. After building up her strength, she was finally able to receive her dad’s kidney in September 2019 and left the hospital a month later.

The LEGO model was donated by Fairy Bricks, a charity with one simple objective, to get LEGO into the hands of children in hospital. They work closely with hospital play specialists to assist them in their vital role in helping children recover more quickly from an illness.

The model was designed and constructed by ergonomics consultant Gary Davis, who has volunteered for Fairy Bricks for several years. Gary has been creating large scale LEGO models for more than 20 years and is very familiar with Evelina London, having taken part in LEGO play days at the hospital since 2015.

Gary, from Welwyn in Hertfordshire, said: “It was a challenge at times, but I hope I’ve done the building justice and I’m really looking forward to Evelina London’s staff, as well as the children and young people, seeing it for the first time.” 

Gary undertook extensive research for the design, working from many photographs, as well as drawings created by the architects of the building. Evelina London staff also provided tours of the various areas within the hospital and assisted in the planning and design.

The aim of the design was to create the most accurate representation possible and capture the colourful and vibrant feel of the building – which includes a replica of the atrium’s distinctive glass ceiling. The model has countless recognisable interior details including the main entrance, reception areas and central walkway on the ground and first floor. It also replicates the ground floor examination room, first floor office, second floor laboratory, the paediatric intensive care unit, the staff rest area, as well as the third floor atrium which houses the Evelina London school, a coffee shop and the Radio Lollipop recording studio. The model features a cutaway, cross sectional view of the wards on floors three to six, to allow views of the inner workings of the hospital. Our staff  got involved by making beds for the wards out of LEGO bricks and creating different minifigures to represent staff members and patients.

Susan Pruden, Evelina London’s play specialist team lead said: “Evelina London is a truly special place to work, and this brilliant LEGO model captures a lot of the magic of the building, as well as the incredible people inside it.

“It’s a wonderful thing for the children and young people who come to Evelina London to see and we’re incredibly grateful to Fairy Bricks. We can’t thank Gary enough for lovingly creating such a brilliantly detailed model.”

The LEGO model of Evelina London hospitalFairy Bricks’ “Chief Fairy” Kevin Gascoigne said: “We have been coming to Evelina London since 2015 and have built a very special relationship with the hospital and its staff. It’s always a highlight of our year when we visit with our Stay & Play teams.

“Like many good ideas, this one developed quickly during a visit to Evelina London back in June 2019, and I’m as excited as anyone to actually see it. Gary has been with us here on every visit dating back to 2015, and when I asked if he would build this model, he didn’t hesitate, just immediately said ‘yes’. The work he has put into this has been phenomenal.”

The LEGO model is due to stay at Evelina London until September 2020, before being taken to Skaerbaek in Denmark for an international LEGO Exhibition, then to the Great Western LEGO Show in Swindon the following week.