Turtle Tower sits upon an island on Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the historical centre of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. This temple is a famous landmark in Hanoi and has been built in LEGO by Vietnamese builder Hoang H Dang. Given the time of year, some festive artistic license has been applied and the tower is now giving off some serious ‘Gingerbread House’ vibes. The actual architectural features of the temple have been nicely captured, especially the decorative stonework on the roof. The gingerbread decoration is cute with candy canes, a nice colour selection of ‘candy’, and Santa rowing over the island to deliver some gifts.
Hoang Dang tells us that the lake was actually home to a very rare species of turtle which is now close to extinction. The last turtle that used to live in the lake sadly passed away this year leaving his cousins as the only two left on Earth, hence the small turtle on the left of the build.
Indonesian builder Anton Budiono‘s latest two builds are both Chinese-style creations in the shape of a seafood restaurant and temple, presumably for quiet postprandial contemplation. Both builds utilise the addition of the same bridge over to a smaller shrine that rests upon wooden decking. There are many details to admire in these builds but the roofs with their decorative ridges and fascia are a particular favourite of mine. There are so many nice little touches to be discovered, such as the telephone handsets forming the beams within the large red front doors or the Mixel ball joints used as structural decorations across the façade.
The seafood restaurant cleverly uses the dark red octopus as decoration in one corner of the building, but Anton’s brick built lobster on the first floor corner is even better and worth a closer look!
While the temple is a little more demure in colour, it also benefits from lots of nice details such as the cascading water feature on the left-hand side or the use of black palm tree tops as the lanterns at the front. There’s more to see around the back on Anton’s Flickr album.
The world of Ninjago is rife with opportunities for exceptional fan-built LEGO creations, but oddly we don’t see them too often. One gorgeous exception, however, is this vignette of a small village by jaapxaap. The red oriental structures are highlighted with strands of gold, and the curved roofs are admirably done.
This would look right at home next to the terrific Temple of Airjitzu set, which is currently $25 off on Amazon.
There aren’t many things more brutal or impersonal than a 41-story public housing tower. Seen from afar, they almost look like prisons from the future. Sau Mau Ping was one of the first tower projects in the Hong Kong area. Construction began in the 60s, and even though most of the buildings have been torn down, the towers still house over 38,000 people. But this LEGO model inspired by the towers from Yan and Vincent is not brutal or impersonal at all. Each window decoration offers a glimpse into the personality of the person who calls this place home. And the brightly colored lamps in the courtyard are a reminder that this is a place of history and culture, not a prison. Being made of concrete blocks doesn’t prevent a house from becoming a home.
This rendition might not be 41 stories like the real towers, but it is definitely a massive model that is interesting from many different perspectives. I challenge you to find two windows the same.
This idyllic Chinese building by qian yj radiates peace and tranquility. The dark grey bricks and the painted dark red wooden supports are popular among this style of architecture along with the blank white walls. This picture-perfect setting is definitely worth posing for a shot.
Hong Kong is one of my top five favorite cities in the world, and my strongest memory of traveling there is definitely the food — not just excellent Cantonese cuisine but also some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had. CK Tsang has built a massive, Miniland-scale version of several dai pai dong, traditional open food stalls in Hong Kong, evoking delightful memories for those of us lucky to have visited the city. Whether you’re in the mood for noodles, congee, or milk tea, it’s a safe bet you can find it at a dai pai dong.
Check out CK’s album on Flickr for more photos.
ArzLan shows us there is beauty in simplicity with this stunning build. Included are various representations of Chinese culture, with a seated figure playing the Ehru (a two-stringed fiddle). Also pictured is a Go board, and supplies for calligraphy and painting.
There are a number of eye catching things here; the seated figure stands out in bright red, and the scroll background has brick-built calligraphy.
I particularly love the dragon brush holder. It’s so fragile and perfectly executed.
Talented Hong Kong LEGO builder Alanboar Cheung honeymooned with his wife in Kyoto, where the newlyweds visited Kiyomizu-dera, an early Buddhist temple founded in 778 AD, with the current buildings dating to the 17th century. Alanboar has commemorated their trip as a gift for his wife with this beautiful LEGO creation. Chock full of details depicting elements of Japanese culture, the whole creation sits on a brick-built scroll, complete with a calligraphy brush in front.
The model features the main temple building on its hill, the accompanying pagoda, and the waterfall that gives the temple its name. In addition, Alanboar included LEGO recreations of his favorite memories, from Kumamon (the mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, which is nowhere near Kyoto) waving Japanese flags beneath cherry blossoms and a trio of Children’s Day carp flying above to a beautiful princess on a bridge overlooking a couple basking in a hot spring (sadly without any snow monkeys).
There’s a lot going on here, so be sure to check out more photos on Alanboar’s blog. And if you enjoy this, you’ll also appreciate Alanboar’s LEGO mosaic of Hokusai’s “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” we featured here a few months ago.
Finnish builder Eero Okkonen admits that he’s not sure why he built this Chinese dragon dance scene (several months after the Lunar New Year), but I for one am very glad he did. With stellar use of transparent Bionicle flame pieces and a Ninjago “Dragon God” banner tile, I can almost hear the firecrackers and smell the smoke.
You can read more from the builder himself on his blog, Cyclopic Bricks.
Today is Chinese New Year, celebrated around the world by people from many different countries. According to the Chinese Zodiac, this is now the Year of the Monkey, so LEGO builders have been posting a plethora of simian creations in honor of our cousins.
Many of the LEGO models feature Sun Wukong, the Monkey King hero of the Chinese epic Journey to the West (and its many adaptations for film and TV). Donna Liem puts the iconic hero astride a cloud in the sky.
Click through for more monkey madness!
Alex Hui brings us this gorgeous replica of the Temple of Heaven, a 15th-century structure in Beijing which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alex has masterfully recreated the intricate ornamentation on the Daoist temple’s walls, helped by the massive scale he employs. Although it doesn’t look it, the base of this model is around four feet in diameter, and the temple is almost as tall. Below is a picture of Alex posing with his creation.
Mike Dung has brought Aya Shameimaru from the Touhou Project to life in LEGO. Aya Shameimaru is a character who appears as a reporter in many of the games within the Touhou Project series. Aya covers the news in the fictional realm of Gensokyo and also belongs to the Crow Tengu species, giving her a height advantage when taking photographs. Mike manages to convey character details and also the fantastical nature of the game within his build.
I have to admit that I really like all the crows, Aya’s wings, the crow seen flying just below Aya, and the clever use of the black hotdog part to show a crow flying in the background. Forced perspective is utilised particularly well in the microscale Shinto shrine that appears to lie far below Aya as she enjoys her birds-eye view of the world. The overall feeling is one of movement, distance and height, something that is not easy to achieve within a small build.