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.

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.

St Paul’s Cathedral in London

Eurobricks member MECHALEX built London’s St Paul’s cathedral and took a set of photos that had me fooled for a while thinking it was a render. Another feature that escaped my first glance was that the model contained at least 6 colors instead of the 3 obvious ones of tan, white, and light grey. Using those extra shades in a subtle manner probably contributed to a subconscious portion of my appreciation of the creation at first sight.

Reaching for the sky in China

Spencer Rezkalla (Spencer R) is a master of micro-scale skyscrapers, and his models have been featured on TBB many times. That does not stop me from calling your attention to his latest project, however. The US may be known for cities full of skyscrapers, such as Chicago and New York, but nowadays most such buildings are being constructed in Asia and Spencer has now turned his attention to China, building the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Jin Mao Tower.

Lujiazui

The subtle curve and the way the façades intersect on the Shanghai Financial Tower is particularly noteworthy. A third skyscraper, called the Shanghai Tower, is currently under construction next to these two and is due for completion in 2014. As you can see from the picture above, Spencer has already saved a spot for it.

Anything but forlorn -the home of the German Parliament

After having been gutted by fire in 1933 and heavily damaged during World War II, the German Reichstag building sat forlornly in West-Berlin for decades, mere meters away from the Berlin Wall. After Germany was reunited, the building was extensively refurbished and fitted with a spectacular glass dome. Since 1999 it has housed the German parliament.
Reichstag, Berlin in LEGO
Check out the clever spacing of all the columns and the way in which Al Disley (aldisley) has built the windows on his microscale version of this grandiose building. Al built the model for an upcoming book called Brick city, by fellow Brit Warren Elsmoore, which will be out in early May. Expect a review of the book in a few weeks’ time.

LEGO Friends 3189 Heartlake Stables + Brandenburg Gate on sale

Amazon.com has discounted 3189 Heartlake Stables by more than 30%, down $15.99 from $49.99 (thus you pay only $34).

Amazon also has 21011 Brandenburg Gate (or as FBTB calls it, a sand green cheese battle pack) on sale for $22.97, down 34% from $34.99 (you save $12.02).

Preserving Preston bus station’s Brutalist architecture in LEGO

I don’t think I’d ever call Brutalist buildings beautiful, but they’re certainly interesting. Fairly unpopular and often built from materials like concrete that don’t always stand the test of time, many Brutalist structures are at risk. Rob H. (rh1985moc) built a LEGO version of Preston bus station in England to highlight the latest plan to demolish it.

Brutalist train station

Rob even highlights the stark lines and curves of his LEGO model using photo processing reminiscent of snapshots from the 60’s or 70’s. Head on over to Flickr for interior shots.