I’ve really been digging buildings built with plate instead of bricks lately. When a builder uses that idea as a starting point, and then adds in other cool details and techniques the way Jellyeater1 has, then we’re usually in store for a pretty cool LEGO creation.
The overall layout of the old mansion is fantastic and the varied brickwork achieved by using plates of six different colours (not to mention the mixed in masonry bricks and round plates) adds an extra level of detail on what might have otherwise been flat walls. Other details abound to solidify the realism of the house: the ornate entryway, the numerous chimneys, and appropriately positioned drainpipes. My personal favourite details are those that give off the look of being abandoned: the boarded-up rose window, drapes flying out of the open windows, the ivy taking over the back wall, or the tree poking through the roof.
If you have ever visited the charming seaside village of Saint-Tropez on the southern coast of France, then this model by Thilo Schoen will be instantly recognizable. There are so many details that make this LEGO scene by the sea come alive, including colorful shops along the marina, terracotta roof tiles, and the yellow-topped bell tower of the church (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunció). Topping everything off is the citadel, which towers majestically above the town. Another enjoyable detail includes boats filling the marina, built studs-down using the new modified 1×2 rounded plate in white.
In the Chinese city of Wuhan, you can find the 51.4 m Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼). The current iteration of the tower was completed in 1985, but the tower has existed in various forms since at least the year 223. Chinese LEGO fan Smoker Nie (聂汉卿) has built a beautiful replica of the tower, which took a painstaking eight months to design and 1,400 hours to build. It consists of 163,100 pieces and stands at a massive height of 158 cm (≈5.2 ft). This is made all the more impressive by the fact that this is only his second LEGO model. (His first was the Aiwan Ting Pavilion.)
See more images of this beautiful Chinese tower
Necromancers, that is. The story is that druids once lived here in Ard-darragh with their magical tree, but when they left, eventually Christian monks settled the cliffs and build a monastery; but they too left, and necromancers took over the site. At least, that is how builder Michal Herbolt describes the evolution of the place. And what a place it is, too! Large castle dioramas are always impressive, if for no other reason than the sheer volume of parts needed to bring them to life. But this one is exceptionally well done, with the brilliant textures on the walls, the large cliffs, the glittering water, and the nicely contrasting roofs.
While there might not be many particular elements here to make you say, “Ooh, I never thought of using that piece for that purpose,” it is nonetheless a masterwork of architectural design and landscape integration. No part of the structure is aligned to the stud-grid of the base, and most of the towers join with the adjacent buildings at non-right angles, too. The way the buildings fade into the rear cliff is perfect, too. My absolute favorite detail, though, is the way the smooth white and rough light bluish grey parts of the walls blend organically together, creating a level of texture that is just right without being either too little or too much. This is a build that is definitely worth a closer look, so check out Michal’s full album on Flickr for all of the detail shots.
Since the disastrous fire on April 15th, many LEGO fans have built their own renditions of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. It comes as no surprise that the best rendition I’ve seen was built by Rocco Buttliere. Rocco, who has a penchant for recreating famed architectural landmarks of the world, got to work on this one immediately following the fire.
Not only did he build the cathedral itself, but he accurately reproduced the landscape around it: remove the building and this creation would still be a masterpiece. The curves of the river and roadways, the textured ground and gardens. I’m especially fond of the little details, like the old hinge tile used as bollards – magnifique! While the surroundings are definitely beautiful, we can’t ignore the church itself. While I might be satisfied to just recreate the shape of the building, Rocco has carefully detailed the structure’s ornate detail. Everything is here, from Gothic arches and rose windows to buttresses and even gargoyles. This is achieved through skillful use of the LEGO parts palette, using a wide variety of old and new pieces of all different types: Technic elements, textured bricks, and minifigure accessories. With this creation, Rocco has built a fitting tribute this wonderful landmark truly deserves.
If you enjoyed this, check out Rocco’s other amazing creations we’ve highlighted, such as the entire Thames waterfront of London.
The two most immediately eye-catching bits on this scene are the smoke and cloaks–well, capes, actually; 8 to be exact. Kevin Peeters does a nice job incorporating them into this lovely windmill. But that’s not the only great part about this build. The cobbled-together look of the stone building and rooftops makes for a great medieval homestead.
The foliage, including the fall-colored tree in the back are also nicely done. But my favorite part might just be the white snake element used for the wisp of smoke from the chimney, a technique we never tire of.
If you’re a fan of the medieval theme, check out some other cool architecture, like a seaside market, floating castle, hero’s cottage, or micro kingdom.
Just one look at any of Sarah Beyer‘s wonderful LEGO house models and it is crystal clear that she has a passion for modern architecture, from the use of large window panels to the delightfully detailed interiors found on every house she builds. This latest warm and inviting beach house is full of interesting part usages, as well as a thoughtful eye toward creating flowing spaces that don’t feel cramped, despite their minimal size. Just one of the details that I love about this house is the use of the textured brick, both inside and outside, to bring visual interest to an otherwise plain white wall.
Check out some interior photos
Aptly named The Spiral, the towering extension of the elevated park High Line in Midtown Manhattan will be a stunning blend of modern architecture and green space when finished. While the real building is currently under construction, Rocco Buttliere has completed a LEGO version that uses an incredible amount of transparent clear and blue plates. I love the way the builder has alternated the orientation of the plates along the greenway to reflect the open-aired areas, drawing the outdoors in.
The Spiral has been designed by Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group, who also designed the LEGO House museum in Billund
Connect with your inner self in this blissful build by Rollon Smith. A combination of red minifigure head pieces and Technic ball joints form the cylindrical columns so prevalent in historic East Asian architecture. It wouldn’t be complete without the bamboo, allowing nature to be a part of achieving a state of zen. I also enjoy the addition of incense burning at the foot of the build, helping the minifigure to meditate better.
Be calm. Be relaxed. Build LEGO.
This gorgeous piece of LEGO architecture by Andrew Tate is an Art Deco fantasy. Growing up near beach towns as a kid I saw tons of places like this with names like The Dunes, Ocean Vista and The Tides. They were bright, cheerful buildings with tropical color schemes and sun burned beach goers coming in and out. I was fascinated by the various examples of architecture, which ranged from Art Deco design to that of the Atomic 50s.
Get a closer look at this Art Deco architecture
Bruce Lowell is a native of Los Angeles, which is one of the reasons he built this 1:200 scale LEGO model of Los Angeles City Hall. For Bruce, the model was a labor of love, having gone through multiple iterations since 2014. The finished product is richly detailed with architectural embellishments, a brick-built flag draped down the right side of the building, and dozens of tiny trees. Everything looks beautiful, and this is further enhanced by the natural background used in Bruce’s photography. In fact, I think it would make for a picture-perfect postcard.
See more details of this LEGO replica of Los Angeles City Hall
Here’s a building challenge for you: Build an image of Paris with LEGO bricks. What would you include in your version? The Eiffel tower? Or maybe the famous Louvre? And how about a small french bakery? There are so many icons of the capital of France to choose from, but Markus Rollbühler nail this challenge in the most elegant way. His Parisian corner has nothing to do with sightseeing or monuments, but its every little detail says Bonjour! It takes some time to spy all the awesome elements of the diorama, but my number one pick is Citroën 2CV, ça c’est magnifique!