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.

A New York high rise to help your rise to the high life

There is something glitzy and glamorous about New York City, shown in countless movies and TV shows and books and magazines and every other form of media through the years, including LEGO sets. Fame and fortune, celebrity status, larger-than-life personalities, all are connected to the Big Apple. Importantly, New York is home to Wall Street, epicenter to the world’s largest financial market, and fortunes are made and lost in moments with bold or rash deals by brokers. If things go well, and a broker gets rich, perhaps starts managing a hedge fund, or otherwise gets a heap of money large enough to make Scrooge McDuck jealous, then he (or she) can afford to buy a condo in 15 Central Park West, built here in 1/650th scale by Spencer_R, the builder of many famous skyscrapers.

Fifteen Central Park West, New York

The property was purchased for $401 million, and the total cost of development, including the land, was $950 million, but when they sold the 202 units in the two buildings they went for over $2 billion; that’s about $10 million per condo, for those of you without easy access to calculators or who struggle with mental math (like me). It is one of the most successful real estate ventures in history due to the over billion dollars in profit. It probably helps that it borders Broadway on one side and Central Park on the other. Notable residents, besides those Wall Street hotshots, have included Alex Rodriguez, Robert DiNiro, Sting, and Denzel Washington. Now that is fancy living!

I’m sure Spencer’s version did not quite cost $950 million to make, but he must have spent a bunch of money on tan headlight bricks, since the build features quite a few. The hollow square base and back of that part make for some excellent windows. The stacked 1×2 transparent plates alternating with tan is simple but highly effective at this scale, too. The courtyard is simply constructed, making good use of inset 1×2 grille tiles for the gates and some transparent light blue elements for the glass-bottomed fountain (the pool is underground, lit by the light shining through the fountain, by the way – though Spencer did not build the pool, I don’t think).

Fifteen Central Park West, New York

If you love this building and want more, we have previously featured Spencer’s Transamerica Pyramid and a NYC skyline build, as well as the World Trade Center site. We also featured another New York City building, the Hearst Tower, earlier this week, albeit by a different builder.

Courthouse in the trees stands tall

The courthouse can be the true center of many small towns across America. In many towns, they rise above the trees and nearby buildings both in physical prominence and emotional meaning, as gathering places in times of celebration and of hardship. In this model of the Monroe County courthouse in Albia, Iowa by Chris Maddison the building stands tall and proud in the center of a green space which features (at my estimation) 7 unique tree construction techniques.

Courthouse

New York’s Hearst Tower skyscraper recreated in 20,000 LEGO bricks

Manhattan’s Hearst Tower is one of the city’s most distinctive skyscrapers and DeepShen has built an impressive LEGO version of this interesting block. The faceted corners of the tower’s 182m height give it a striking visual signature, enhanced by the interesting contrast between the modern skyscraper and the 1928 cast stone facade which surrounds its base. This, the original Hearst building, was intended to be the ground floors of a skyscraper, but that construction project was put on hold by the Great Depression. In 2006 its purpose was finally realised — a protected landmark, the facade was retained as a street-level front for the stunning new building which emerged from its heart.

LEGO New York Skyscraper

DeepShen says the model used roughly 20,000 LEGO pieces and is built to 1:156 scale. By my calculations that makes this creation around 110cm high — so it’s as impressive in scale as it is in shaping.

A Middle-Eastern microscale masterpiece

Some builders just wow me time after time with stellar parts usages, not to mention their rapid-fire building. Pieces are used in ways that make me mentally file them away for a future build, or add to an imaginary Bricklink wishlist. One such builder is the highly skilled Simon NH, who after just visiting Hades in an awesome creation we highlighted earlier today, brings us a microscale build set somewhere in the Middle East. The building on the left is particularly rich with clever construction, but the whole thing bears closer examination. In fact, I’m pretty sure Simon looked over his white pieces and tried to find the strangest ones, and then worked out how to make them all fit together in some sort of mad-scientist LEGO lair.

Khalif's Summer Stay

The building closest to us in the forced perspective contains a basketball net as a rose window, which works because of the angle of the shot. Moving to the left (since Arabic and other Semitic languages are read right to left, and after all, this is a Middle Eastern-inspired build), the dark tan-domed tower is comprised mostly of stretchers and spinner bases. The tan archway uses a pre-fabricated piece, but at microscale it looks better than it does at minifigure scale, quite frankly. But then we come to the mother lode of exotic white parts in the leftmost building. Who even has a window with shutters last produced in 1975? (I might, actually, since I inherited my dad’s old collection of Samsonite sets from the 60s, but still…) Then there are the Aquanaut helmets turned upside down, and the Blacktron II jet pack for an archway, as well as, well, some 2×4 wheel wells for other arches. There’s more, too, but all of these parts from my childhood are making me nostalgic, and so I need to go find my own childhood LEGO sets, as well as my dad’s, and get the cool pieces to use in future builds of my own.

A very special homecoming

Every journey comes to an end sometime, and for this weary traveler, his journey ends with a warm welcome from a loving father in this lovely scene by Carter Witz. One of the first details that caught my eye was the gently angled wall along the riverside.

Arriving Home

The same style of stacked plates and tiles is carried through to the back yard, which also features simple but interesting trees and other vegetation.

Arriving Home

Carter has included a fully detailed interior, which suggests, along with the letter in the father’s hand, that this homecoming was expected, and a yet another treasure of home is waiting. A good meal.

Arriving Home

The Xiantong Temple Tribute

Chinese builder Qian Yj has been producing beautiful architectural models for a few years now, many of which can be found in the TBB archives, including the hexagonal Tianfeng Pagoda and the Sichuan home. The builder’s latest creation is a mammoth tribute to the Wuliang Hall of the sprawling 400-building Xiantong Temple complex in China. “Wuliang” translates to “infinite” or “immeasurable” but we think it measures up quite magnificently.

Wuliang Hall (Xiantong Temple)

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And they all lived together in a little crooked house

Mastering the art of LEGO architecture can be difficult enough, but jaapxaap goes a step farther with this seemingly impossible little house full of color and texture. This type of work, dubbed “ramshackle style”, is a personal favorite of mine. The skill required to pull off an organic building such as this is a special one.

Home Sweet Home

The sloping roof is extremely impressive with its purple tiles and the seamless way the two roofs meet. One of the keys to this style is a variety of texture which the builder pulls of admirably here. The combination of profile bricks, SNOT pieces and tiles create the feeling of a house that is constantly in repair. The building’s color palette is quite appealing in various shades of brown accented with pinks and purples. The landscaping is similarly appointed with an array of plants of different sizes, shapes and colors.

See more of this purple-roofed house

LEGO Hidden Side now available with more than 65 other new LEGO sets and gear [News]

The brand new LEGO Hidden Side augmented reality product line is available starting today, as well as more than 50 new sets from Architecture, Harry Potter, City, Friends, Jurassic World, Technic and more. LEGO fans in the U.S. have had to wait patiently for this new wave of sets which has been available in Europe for a few months now.

LEGO is also offering two promotions including a reversible VIP tote bag and a LEGO Jurassic World polybag. If you combine this wave with the newly available  LEGO Ideas Treehouse, Jurassic Park T-Rex, Creator Expert Harley-Davidson Motorcycle and Star Wars Droid Commander, there is an incredible amount of new LEGO sets just waiting to be built!

Click to see all the LEGO themes with new sets now available

Sydney gets an Ice Planet make-over

Ice Planet 2002 was a short-lived LEGO Space subtheme from 1993 through 1994. The year 2002 has since came and went and we have not had manned missions to other planets, icy or otherwise. Despite the theme’s short shelf life and failure to predict history, its dynamic blue, white and trans-neon-orange color scheme captivated builders for decades to come. So much, in fact, that Aido K’s local LEGO Users Group put the challenge out to give any modern LEGO set the Ice Planet 2002 treatment. Being the consummate Aussie that he is, Aido went with the Sydney Skyline 21032 set.

Ice Planet Sydney

Now the world has a new creation it never knew it needed but is better for it. It turns out Aido seems to like the challenge of making something out of official sets as evidenced by this previously featured creation based on the Green Lion from this Voltron set.

The form of the Forum taking shape

I love it when two things that I like and know something about come together, like peanut butter and jelly or LEGO and Roman history. Tim Schwalfenberg brings us a slice of the early days of Rome, when they were still constructing the Forum.

Roman Forum

Or perhaps it is later in Rome’s history when they were building a second, third, or fourth forum. I suspect it is early, though, since the streets are not yet paved and there is still active construction going on with a wooden crane lifting up a block of marble to add to a second building. If that’s not deep enough, please excuse me while I put on my scholar hat for a moment. It should be pointed out that not everything is completely accurate here: the Romans generally built with brick or concrete and faced the buildings with marble, rather than building the whole thing of marble; and also, Caesar Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome (reigning from 27 BC to AD 14) is said by the historian Suetonius to have said, “I found it of brick, but left it of marble”, since marble was rarely used before Augustus’ day.

However, taking my scholar hat off, this is an impressive build, with lovely columns of clearly Ionic styling. The structure conveys the grandeur that is proper to that mighty republic of the past. The trees are particularly nice, with the whips coiled around in an organic way, and evoke the stone pines of Rome well. The folded minifigure capes do a great job as togas, too; you can see a few senators, perhaps, near the sundial in their white togae candidae. My favorite piece usage, though, is the inverted jumper plates for the ladders. The whole thing is impressive. Augustus would be proud.

Beautiful rendition gives new twist to LEGO Architecture

Constructed in 2016 on the Coconut Grove in Miami, the Grove at Grand Bay brought a new twist to architecture. This is just what creative builder Lego Fjotten has done for LEGO Architecture. This fantastic rendition of the dual twenty storey towers, is spot on. The multi-teared garden beds weave perfectly throughout the base. Built predominantly from 2×2 and 4×4 macaroni bricks topped with correlating tiles, their shaping is near identical to the real coastal complex. Their pattern gives the pathways and pool quite an amount of character by itself.

The Grove at Grand Bay

Designed to follow the consistent twist from the ground to the top six or so floors, Lego Fjotten has handled this challenge incredibly well. Though if my calculations are correct, he would have been building with a touch over three thousand trans-clear 1x2x3 panels, an impressive feet by itself. The constructed twist allows practically every condo a slightly different view of the horizon, which makes me wonder what the tiny figs would think living there? I can only begin to imagine the views from the top.

A build 17 years in the making

Since 2002, Spencer_R has been wanting to build the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. One key thing held them back; they were stymied by the lack of the perfect part. (A feeling that is familar to many LEGO builders, I’m sure.) Flash forward to 2017 and the release of the 1×1 plate with a printed square pattern, part of the 70620 Ninjago City set. Then flash forward another year or two, as Spencer needed a whopping 1040 of them to complete the build. The end result is 1/650th scale version that is both a labor of love and a treat for the eyes.

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco

Beyond the highly accurate recreation of the shape of the tower, Spencer has also faithfully reproduced many other details. At the base of the tower the park contains redwood trees made from flower stems, a fence of 1×2 grilled tiles, and a 1×1 round plate standing in for the fountain. There’s even a cafe pavilion overlooking the park grounds.

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco

Be sure to check out the full album on flickr for even more close up details, build commentary, and a great overview of the history and features of the real building.