Could this become the coolest New York souvenir ever? Two Manhattan-based design firms, TO+WN Design and AJSNY, have teamed up to sell a model of Manhattan that will blow all the others out of the water. Using detailed aerial scans of the city, the firms created a 12-foot-long model of Manhattan that represents every last landmark, skyscraper, brownstone, park and event hall. Impressively, they’ve managed to replicate current-day Manhattan down to a 1:5000-scale–and they’re calling their mini Manhattan a “Microscape.” If you want a piece of this, you’re not the only one. The project’s Kickstarter, which recently launched with an $8,000 goal, is already more than $17,000 funded with 26 days left.
The firms build these microscape models from 3-D printers, which receive information about the cityscape from accurate, up-to-date aerial scan data. That means that as the city (and the data) changes, microscapes can be 3-D printed to reflect that. And because they manually process all of that data to make it printable, they can also include buildings still under construction or still in planning.
Manhattan on a 1:5000 scale will result in a 12-foot island, in case you were wondering. TO+WN and AJSNY plan to break up the island into about 200 different square tiles, each of which will measure 6 inches x 6 inches and cover a half mile of Manhattan in intricate detail. Buyers will be able to collect and assemble tiles any way they choose, with the idea that “collectors” will buy tiles that represent the areas of Manhattan where they live or have visited.
Early bird pricing on the tiles is $75 each through the Kickstarter campaign, and after the campaign they’ll be priced at $125 each. As the Kickstarter notes, “You don’t have to be Donald Trump to own a substantial chunk of New York City real estate.” The 200 tiles that all make up the full city model can be special-ordered after the close of the Kickstarter for $25,000. And if the microscape launch goes well, the team hopes to start printing up other cities in full architectural accuracy, too.
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Photos courtesy of Microscape