Seattle-based Alice Finch worked her own special kind of LEGO magic a few years ago when she decided to build a fully-featured Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry campus. The primary setting for many of Harry Potter & Co.’s exploits is so massive in size, it’s amazing that Finch managed to not only create the Great Hall and kitchens, but the Hospital Wing, the Library Wing, and even the Boathouse. In fact, the only thing this Hogwarts doesn’t have is a Quidditch Pitch, and that’s likely only because since Alice built it to be accurate to scale and architectural standards, she would’ve needed a few panels of grass and fauna between Hogwarts and the Pitch. It was not located directly on campus, if my imaginary strolls and mental maps serve me right.
Though the movies gave us all some of the first vivid representation of Hogwarts, Finch drew much inspiration from the books while she was plotting out the details. For instance, the kitchens are bustling with House Elves. The Hogwarts/House Elves sub-story was a major plot point for Hermione that didn’t make it to the big screen, but illuminated her earnest heart and willingness to fight for justice for all. The official LEGO Harry Potter games further illuminated aspects of the magical school that hadn’t made it onto the screen as well, like the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff common rooms.
Finch spent 12 out of 18 months — traveling in and out of her home city — building the campus with roughly 400,000 LEGO bricks. When asked by The Brothers Brick how much she spent on the project, she replied “I do not know how much it costs and I don’t really want to know, although lots of other people do.” She went on to mention that many of the outer brick purchases were made in bulk by the box, and due to different availabilities per country, many of her green-sloped roofing bricks came from Germany.
Finch took her massive creation to BrickCon 2012, where it won a rare one-two punch of “Best In Show” and “People’s Choice”, and to Emerald City Con 2013 where a time-lapse video of its assembly (below) was created.
Be sure to check out each of the images in the gallery we’ve included below, and then head to Alice’s Flickr album (link also below) for even more hi-res images.
Images: Flickr//Alice Finch