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.

This groovy exterior will make you dance

When building with LEGO, one of the more frustrating things is when the bricks just don’t seem to line up right. Oh, sure, LEGO has amazing interlocking technology built in, and that helps. But when you’re trying to do something fancy with half-stud offsets or SNOT, sometimes those joins are a little less than static. El Barto has taken this pain point and turned it into something lovely with their rendition of the David E. and Stacey L. Goel Center for Theater and Dance at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH. Built with meticulous attention to detail, the walls use a repetitive mis-alignment to create a zig-zag pattern that matches the textures of the real building. Even better, the whole build sits askew on the display stand, mirroring those interesting angles.

Goel Center: Entrance

The sides and back of the building also have that great texturing. The rest of the landscaping is also well executed, with brick-built trees and curving walkways.

Goel Center: Side

If you’d like to see it in person, this creation will be on display in the lobby of the Goel Center for the remainder of the academic year. I just wonder if the display table is also at an angle…

Tiny house is big on charm

One of my favorite creators of LEGO modern architecture, Sarah Beyer, is equally skilled at both minifig scale and microscale, as evident in her latest tiny model, Whitesalt Villa. This modern structure is defined by the unusual use of an arch piece, which has some very interesting circles on the underside. Sarah continues this visual theme with a single brick with technic pin hole over the entrance. The angled placement of the building and the water feature have a very tranquil effect.

Whitesalt Villa MOC III

Not a drab grey brick in sight

If there’s one thing that sets today’s LEGO elements apart from those of the past, it’s the wide range of bright colors found in modern sets; they expand upon the original LEGO primary color palette with stunning diversity. Many of these colors are only available for a limited assortment of parts. This digital model by Pau Padrós uses some great new parts like this brick with a half arch first released in 71043 Hogwarts Castle, and this rounded brick in colors LEGO has not released yet, but we can hope that maybe someday, they will. The model features an angled facade and plenty of unconventional construction that orients the LEGO stud in several directions within a single structure.

Baseplate Alley

Lounge in this library with style

Libraries are more than book repositories; they also provide educational services and activities for their surrounding communities. Thanks to Łukasz Libuszewski’s, the little citizens of LEGOLAND can now enjoy everything a library has to offer. It looks both modern and inviting, complete with enough glass to let the sunshine in. The library sports a modular design, in which sections can be removed to reveal the service desk and bookshelves. Especially impressive is the motorized glass elevator. Be sure to watch Łukasz’ video to view the library from all angles, the interior and elevator in action. You might even want to sign up for a library card!

Modern Library

A lovely home far from Arrakis

Author Frank Herbert was first inspired to write the epic Dune novels by the sandy dunes on the Oregon coast in the United States. As a struggling sci-fi writer early in his career, it seems doubtful that Herbert would have had the means to live in such a wonderfully architected home as this exquisite LEGO house among the dunes by Sarah Beyer. Sarah’s house features stone walls built from plates, plus geometric white sections and a garage door built on its side. The square stone arch at the roofline is particularly striking.

Dune House MOC I

The landscaping around the home is no less noteworthy, with an irregular base that looks exactly like sand spilling all around the base of the structure and scrubby plants rooted in the loose soil.

Dune House MOC IV

And be sure to check out all the other LEGO Architecture by Sarah that we’ve featured previously.

Ride now! Ride to Gondor!

The city of Minas Tirith in the realm of Gondor is one of the most iconic locations from Tolkien’s beloved The Lord of the Rings books, and was brought to life perfectly in the film adaptations. Builder Nicola Bozzolan has crafted the capital stronghold in LEGO, and it looks amazing. Using over 7,000 pieces, Nicola spent more than 60 hours making the White Tower nestle just perfectly among the mountains, with its seven-tiered system of defensive walls.

Spreading out on the Pelennor Fields, the curved city is rendered excellently in microscale. High at the top of the central spire of rock is the palace of the kings of Gondor. The emblematic white tree of Gondor is in the central courtyard, with its ancient sweeping branches represented by a LEGO feather.

An urban adventurer’s playground

Abandoned factories seem to divide people into two camps: those who for some reason find them beautiful, and those who think such structures should be demolished as quickly as possible. Such locations attract all sorts of people, from graffiti artists to homeless people and edgy teenagers looking for adventure. Dutch LEGO builder and photographer Niek Geurts probably isn’t homeless, and I doubt he is an edgy teenager. Judging by his photography website, he seems to be inspired by abandoned industrial architecture, and his recent LEGO recreation of an abandoned factory is filled with all the functional details one would expect in a factory.

Abandoned old factory, lego MOC

The scene has just about everything you could ask for. There is a little guard house, a railroad access, all sorts of hoses and air vents on the roof and other must-haves for any factory, abandoned or not. There are a few characteristics of abandoned buildings as well; broken windows, graffiti (wonderfully brick-built examples here!), cracked pavement and uncontrollable vegetation sprouting everywhere, including a bit of moss on the roof. The two bikes on the left side of the diorama are either stolen and discarded or the property of whoever is filming clickbait YouTube videos inside…

Thrill seeking among the skyscrapers

When it comes to LEGO roller coasters, you can find a wide range of thrills. Start off safe on the gentle slopes of a Friends Amusement Park, or go for more adrenalin on the Creator Expert version. But what if that isn’t enough for your minifigures? What if they want a real rush? Taking an apparent cue from real-world rides like the Las Vegas High Roller, French builder ilive moves the track off the ground and into the skyline.

Roller Coaster

The ride twists through a selection of ilive’s previously built micro-scale buildings, each of which features interesting shaping and design. The Cube uses plenty of eye-catching texture created from transparent plate, and Skyscraper-2 makes great use of transparent blue 1x2x5 brick.

City

The coaster itself, though, is minifigure scaled. The effect of the mixed scaling works well; it’s pretty easy to imagine an upscale park having a miniature version of their city incorporated into a signature ride. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself in ilive’s video!

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.