Tag Archives: Architecture

LEGO provides the perfect medium for recreating the buildings and landmarks of the world — LEGO has even released a line of official LEGO Architecture sets. Check out our coverage of the official sets, and don’t miss all the gorgeous architectural models created by LEGO fans from around the world.

Summertime in Italy

As part of an event in Ballabio, North of Milan, the Italian LEGO users group ItLUG held a Creator contest, which was won by Dario Minisini (oirad72) with this lovely cottage.

I’m not sure whether the combination of the shape, the red roof-tiles and the white walls triggered it, but when I saw this picture I was immediately reminded of Italy, even before I knew the back-story. Like many Creator sets, its construction may be relatively straightforward, but the colours, the proportions and level of detail make it work.

It is a Corner Cafe, but not as you know it

We don’t feature many modular buildings (or Cafe-Corner Compatible buildings, if you prefer) on this blog any more. After a while they all start to look a bit the same. A few weeks ago, however, I attended a Lowlug meeting and saw the very original models by Christiaan de Roo (aloisvonesterhazy), inspired by Amsterdam. My favourite in his collection is a somewhat older model called “Cafe het Hoekje”, which is Dutch and translates to Corner Cafe. It is built in the very attractive style typical of many 19th century buildings in city centres in the Netherlands, reminiscent of 17th century Dutch architecture.

One thing I don’t like about many modular buildings, including some of the sets, is their overly elaborate decoration in too many or odd colours. I prefer a more restrained look and Christiaan got that just right. There is a variation in the colour of the roof tiles, which adds some extra visual interest, but most of the building is plain brown with white accents. The building also has a full interior with some spectacular tile work on the ground floor. You can enjoy it in all its detail by checking out the full set on flickr.

The streets of Brooklyn

The Brooklyn buildings by Jonathan Lopes (BKNY Bricks) aren’t as elaborately decorated as your typical Café Corner compatible building, but as far as I am concerned that is a good thing. Every detail seems to naturally fit into place.

Brooklyn Street

The buildings were inspired by the block where the builder lives. Their overall look is so nicely composed, that at first I didn’t realise that they are only about half the scale that is typically used for minifigs. The size of the trees finally made me realise that my mind was being tricked.

Visit Oechsnerville & see the sights!

Long-time readers are probably most-familiar with Thomas Oechsner because of his stellar Neo-Classic Space models, but Thomas recently posted a big batch of Micropolis modules.

Thomas used four base modules to assemble this cluster of gorgeous tan skyscrapers. (I’m including some pretty tall pictures in this post so you can get a sense of the sheer height of Thomas’s LEGO buildings.)

Micropolis skyscrapers

This neighborhood of townhouses includes some lush backyards and lovely mottled brickwork.

Micropolis townhouses

The antenna atop N. Nielson Center first drew my attention, but scroll down for a wonderful tribute to a great builder.

N Nielson Center

See dozens more photos on Flickr.

New LEGO set 10234 Sydney Opera House unveiled at BrickWorld [News]

UPDATE: 10234 Sydney Opera Houseicon is out now for LEGO VIP Program members, and will be available to everybody on September 1st.

The big LEGO set being revealed this evening at BrickWorld in Chicago is 10234 Sydney Opera House. Designed by Jamie Berard, this new LEGO set recreates the architectural masterpiece that overlooks Sydney Harbor in Australia. Due out in September 2013, 10234 Sydney Opera House will include nearly 3,000 pieces and cost $320 in the US.


10234 Sydney Opera House (4) 10234 Sydney Opera House (5)

10234 Sydney Opera House (7)

Here are all the official details from LEGO:

10234 Sydney Opera House™

Ages 16+. 2,989 pieces.
Recreate Australia’s architectural masterpiece!
US $319.99 CA $379.99 DE 279.99€ UK 249.99 £ DK 2499.00 DKK

Recreate one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings with the Sydney Opera House™ model. Build the unmistakable shell roofline, waterfront forecourt and more with this authentic representation of Australia’s most iconic building. Employ a variety of new and advancedbuilding techniques to recreate the complex forms, angled walls and subtle detailing of the real thing! Collect lots of dark tan LEGO® bricks including the rare 1x1x2/3 stud and 1x2x2/3 stud slopes, as well as a 48×48 stud baseplate in blue for the very first time!

  • Build this model of a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
  • Includes hard-to-find dark tan LEGO® bricks, tiles and sloped bricks!
  • Collect the 48×48 stud baseplate, available in blue for the very first time!
  • Sturdy construction allows the model to be handled and moved!
  • Features advanced building techniques for complex forms, angled walls and subtle detailing!
  • Measures over 11″ high, 25″ wide and 15″ deep!

Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning September 2013

Here’s a video of designer Jamie Berard talking about his new set:

Don’t miss the other big announcement of the night: LEGO approves Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover CUUSOO project

The Wave in Vejle

“The Wave in Vejle” is a building designed by Henning Larsen Architects in Vejle, Denmark. Joaquin Cantolla says that his LEGO version is a “free interpretation” of the real-life building, but the spirit of this award-winning architectural masterpiece comes through clearly in LEGO.

LEGO Wave building

Thanks to reader Henrik Høxbroe for the tip!

Amazon discounts Lego architecture sets

Amazon has some decent deals on Lego architecture sets ranging from 21-34% off.


The mini modern homes of Zaberca

Zaberca Architecture is a firm committed to design excellence and sustainable building practices. Founded by zaberca in 2007, the firm endorses a contextual and purpose driven design philosophy which focuses on the process of design, rather than heroic architectural gestures, or specific stylistic expressions. Following an in depth analysis of context, climate and vernacular forms, the architectural firm’s projects are reflective of the client’s vision and offer environmentally sensitive solutions for a variety of situations.

Mini Modern Residence 2

With a collaborative approach to the design process, Zaberca Architecture emphasizes a dialogue with clients and consultants from complimentary disciplines to ensure a project’s multidimensional success. The arcchitectural firm is committed to producing quality projects that become one with their natural settings. With keen attention to material selection, Zaberca architecture’s buildings embody a language that weaves together the traditional and the modern, the natural and the built as well as the indoors and the outdoors.

Mini Modern Residence 3

Microscale Hagia Sophia looks nothing like Jabba’s Palace

A bunch of SEALUG members recently founded a new LEGO club here in the Seattle area focused on architecture and castle models. David Frank (Frasland) has gotten into the spirit with this lovely rendition of the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

Hagia Sophia II

David’s inclusion of one of the Star Wars planets for the structure’s dome is a wonderful touch.

Review: Brick City by Warren Elsmore

The name Warren Elsmore may not be immediately familiar to adult fans of LEGO worldwide, but you are likely to have seen some of his work, such as his LEGO model of the 2012 London Olympic Park. He is also well-known in British LEGO circles as the organiser of AFOLCON, the UK’s own LEGO convention, and as the former chairman of the Brickish Association. For his latest project, he has translated his love for our favourite bricks into a book titled Brick City, about building the world’s great cities with LEGO.

Brick City

The book contains a few introductory pages on subjects such as building techniques, useful LEGO parts and customising minifigs. The rest of the more than 250 pages of this hefty volume are dedicated to photographs and instructions of fan-built models, each with an informative little blurb about the real-world object and about its LEGO rendition. Many of these models were built by Warren himself and his wife Kitty, but he has also enlisted the help of several other builders, including J. Spencer Rezkalla (Spencer R), Sean Kenney and Arthur Gugick, who are well-known for their architectural models. The book also includes two of my own (vehicle) models, which is why I was sent the advance copy of the book that I am using for this review.

Brick City

The models are mainly buildings and monuments, from a grand total of 39 cities across the world, with a few pages dedicated to each of them. London, New York and Paris each cover larger sections. You can build some of the models yourself, using instructions in the book. These models tend to be fairly straightforward, but often are still a bit more complicated than your average LEGO set. A minor point of criticism of the book is that the pages aren’t particularly large and because of this, the instructions are quite small. This may make them somewhat difficult to follow for inexperienced builders. If you are like me, however, the instructions don’t really matter. It is simply a joy to have this book lie on my coffee table and leaf through it every now and then, to enjoy the photographs. The book contains beautiful models and the reproduction of the photographs is excellent. It also contains two large fold-out posters, of Warren’s London St Pancras station and Spencer’s beautiful microscale rendition of the (new) World Trade Center from New York. If you are into LEGO architecture sets, you’ll definitely like this one.

The book will officially be out in early May, but Amazon.com has already started shipping copies. RRP for the UK version (called Brick city -LEGO for Grown-ups) is £12.99 and the list price for the US version is $19.90. There is also an Australian version (which, somewhat oddly, is the one I got), but only the covers differ. The book is also available in Canada and several European countries.