Initiated by the National Heritage Board (NHB) of Singapore working with local brick artists, a recent project has recreated eight historically significant buildings in Singapore to showcase and remind people of the hidden gems amongst the modern city landscape. The eight showcases were built by Xylvie Wong, Eugene Tan, and Andy Goh and was part of the recent team from UNESCO Piece of Peace brick exhibition.
The Brothers Brick had a chance to speak to the trio, and let them share some insights on their journey and what goes on inside of a builder’s mind while recreating impressive large-scale structures like these.
From left are Andy Goh, Xylvie Wong, and Eugene Tan.
Click to read the interview
As the gateway to the Klondike, Seattle boomed during the gold rush of the late 1800’s. And with the explosive growth of Amazon in recent years, the Emerald City is experiencing a new boom. Everything here is surging: the economy, the population, house prices, and consequently homelessness. King county now ranks #3 in the nation for homelessness, after New York and Los Angeles, 47% of whom lack proper shelter.
I decided to use LEGO to illustrate this problem by imagining Seattle as an Architecture skyline set, featuring the Space Needle, Pike Place Market (complete with brass pig and gum wall), the Columbia Tower, Smith Tower, ship yards, and a plethora of street-side tents.
The good news is that local government has just levied money to finally attack this humanitarian crisis, no thanks to Amazon. The Seattle-based retail giant, now one of the most valuable companies in the world, threatened to halt all of its downtown expansion rather than cough up less cash than they probably spend keeping their cafeterias stocked with kombucha and avocado toast. Meanwhile the company’s founder – now the world’s richest person – allegedly ponders sinking the bulk of his fortune into advancing space travel.
Maybe before we start putting people in tents on Mars, we should first try to reduce the number that are forced to live in them down here…
The TBB cover photo for June 2018 is Sandyman’s Mill by Patrick B. Now visiting our social media pages will make you want to be a hobbit and live in The Shire!
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Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is one of the most famous buildings in the world — first a Greek Orthodox Church, then the Ottoman Imperial Mosque, and now a museum. Despite its reknown, its distinctive collection of domed, sloped, and circular construction is surely an intimidating subject to recreate in LEGO bricks. However, Rocco Buttliere — the undisputed master of LEGO architecture — appears up to the task.
The attention to detail that’s gone into this model is impressive, and the parts use is a masterclass in how to give a LEGO creation depth of texture. Don’t miss the use of Shakespearean-minifigure neck ruffs as flourishes on the surrounding towers, battle droid feet employed as arched windows, and the masterstroke of using hot dog sausage parts for the central dome! This is a great example of imaginative building to show anyone who ever says LEGO parts are getting too specialised nowadays.
Spanning the river Cher in the Loire Valley, Château de Chenonceau is one of the most charming castles of France. Built in the early 1500s the place have seen many owners. Today it belongs to the Menier family, who are famous for their signature chocolates. Last year we got acquainted with the chocolate box château thanks to a wonderful microscale model by Isaac Snyder. And now it’s Aaron Newman turn to wow us with an off the charts model of the castle. Full of the tiniest elements the building is much larger than one might think; the final model measures more than 12″ (31cm) tall, 17″ (44cm) deep, and 40″ (102cm) wide!
It isn’t every day you see historic Ukrainian landmarks in LEGO-form, but flambo14 has risen to the challenge with his delightful version of the Vinnytsia Water Tower. The structure served as a water tower from its construction in 1912 until 1920, was used as a watchtower during World War II, and was transformed into a museum by 1985. My favorite aspect of the build is the use of hinged angled plates to recreate the shape of the gray masonry on the first floor.
LEGO Certified Professional Prince Jiang has created a splendid replica of Dazheng Hall, a historic landmark from the Northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang. Dazheng Hall is the oldest part of the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which was built in 1625 and served as the home of the Qing Dynasty’s first three emperors. Prince Jiang’s model was built to kick off the grand opening of the LEGO Certified Store in Shenyang’s Joy City Shopping Mall.
Click to see more of Dazheng Hall
The post-apocalyptic world of Robert Maier has not been kind to the world of trains. Scarce resources have given to overgrowth and decay, with the former railway line now serving as a trail for weary explorers. Maier’s traveler had best watch out for trouble because trails also provide opportunity for predatory thieves. The major post-apoc elements are here: drab & weathered-looking colors, pock-marked masonry, plant overgrowth reclaiming the land, and even a super-mean looking chainsaw-wielding thug with a mohawk. Approach with extreme caution!
While Sarah Beyer‘s Olive Sand House is not what one might imagine when they hear “living in a desert”, it does look both adventurous yet strangely comfortable. Sarah is a master of contemporary architecture in LEGO and has created many unique LEGO houses before. This latest one is not so much unique in an architectural sense, but all the building techniques make it an easy favourite for me.
The Olive Sand House is a treat when it comes to textures. There are grilled sections on the walls and the whole roof has a very satisfying grilled texture to it too. We tend to talk about colour blocking most often in sci-fi creations, but it is very much an important feature of this (admittedly nearly futuristic) building. Another important factor is the landscaping around the house, giving it some context. There are some interestingly used parts as well, most notably BrickHeadz glasses used as fence on the balcony, the same technique that just appeared in the Creator Expert Roller Coaster.
What I particularly love about building in microscale is that it makes you value every single piece and every spare stud of space. When a tiny 1×2 slope becomes a very huge section of the building’s roof you become very careful with planning your creation. And Marco De Bon‘s tiny quarter is a brilliant example of careful planning and very nice execution. Despite a very limited variety of pieces and colors, this neighbourhood looks both elegant and surprisingly diverse. My favourite part would be those small balconies of the white apartment building; the use ofplate 2 x 4 wedge‘s shape is just stunning.
LEGO has unveiled the next two additions to the Architecture line as the towering 21042 Statue of Liberty and 21041 Great Wall of China. Lady Liberty has 1,685 pieces and will sell for $119.99 USD. The Great Wall has 551 pieces and will sell for $49.99 USD. Both sets will be available June 1.
Get a closer look at the new LEGO Architecture sets
These mosaic sculptures by ZiO Chao have so much depth, they’re bordering on bas-relief. We’ve shared ZiO Chao’s landmark sculptures before, and he is back at it again and is ready to take us on a trip around the world with a series of 3D mosaics.
Click to continue touring the world with the rest of the mosaics