Given its reputation as the “crossroads of the world,” it’s only fitting that Times Square serves as the home to Gulliver’s Gate, “the world’s biggest little world.” In direct contrast to the neighborhood’s oversized advertisements and blown-up billboards, Gulliver’s Gate is a complex world of miniatures, dreamt up by a team of over 100 artists from around the world.
The $40 million and 49,000-square-foot exhibit stretches a full city block wide and features 300 miniature scenes from 50 countries — from the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Rome to the Big Ben in London and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
Everything you see is presented in 1:87 scale: 10,000 cars, 1,000 trains and an ever-growing number of miniature people dot the displays, each of which has its own unique character.
“The model makers were tasked to create a world that best represents how they see the region they are from,” says co-founder Michael Langer in USA Today. “They were also given a fair amount of latitude to impart their own personality and humor into the exhibit.”
Eiran Gazit, an artist and retired major from the Israeli military, led the project, which is still continuing to grow throughout the length of its soft opening; over time, additional scenes and interactive elements will be added.
The miniature model of New York was fabricated in Brooklyn by 16 model makers, who decided to incorporate iconic landmarks like Grand Central Terminal, Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center transit hub and the Statue of Liberty. The city’s skyline is reimagined with light-up towers that jet towards the ceiling; in total, the entire model took 358 days to create. The team worked with architectural firm Beyer Blinder Belle, model train companies Walthers and Faller, Brooklyn Model Works and others for this feat.
Another interactive part of the exhibit is the Cobra 3D scanner that allows visitors to make miniature versions of themselves. One of three in existence, the full-body scanner and 3D printer utilizes 128 Canon DSLR cameras to capture 360-degree images of visitors, which are turned into tiny models that can be taken home as souvenirs, or placed as “model citizens” of Gulliver’s Gate.
Gulliver’s Gate (30th, 216 W 44th St.) is now on display until December 30th. For additional information and visiting hours, click here.