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.

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.

Wait, wait, don’t tell me! It’s Mettawa Manor in miniature!

In the state of Illinois, in the town of Mettawa, there is a house called Mettawa Manor. Originally built in 1927, when it was purchased in 1990 by newsman Bill Kurtis and his wife Donna LaPietra, they became just the second owners of the estate, and, in the nearly thirty years since, they have refurbished the place and made the gardens a popular horticultural destination. Another newsman, Peter Sagal, the host of National Public Radio’s popular Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me alongside Mr. Kurtis, commissioned a LEGO build of the manor for his colleague from the talented Dave Kaleta to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his marriage at the house. The resulting model is magnificent!

Mettawa Manor

Building in microscale has its peculiar challenges, where each stud width and plate height equals many feet (or meters outside the USA), but Dave has done a great job of replicating the different angles of the roof lines and various bay windows, together with beautiful landscaping. The use of neck brackets for electrical details on the roof as well as the chairs on the back patio is lovely, and repeated 1×1 tiles on the roof create a perfect illusion of shingle texture. My favorite detail is definitely the entry way, though, with the perfect little door framed by an arch of cheese slopes. Photos of the actual house appear on the builder’s Flickr photostream, and it is as spot-on as one could do in LEGO bricks. What a gift!

Mettawa Manor

That’s a twist. That’s very twisty.

The Norwegian museum Kistefos Museet is currently expanding, and Lego Fjotten brings us a look at the planned art bridge museum in LEGO form. Designed by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), the building spans the Ranselva river while twisting along its axis. The LEGO version accomplishes the same task, spanning a river of 1×2 transparent blue tiles with a turn that is almost as seamless as the large scale architecture will be.

The Twist - Kistefos Museum

Beyond the centerpiece of the bridge, Lego Fjotten also shows skill with a realistic and complex landscape. Trees, gently sloping hills, a cobblestone walk, and tiny picnic tables with minifigure statuettes give things a sense of scale.

To learn more, I recommend you check out BIG’s project summary for the Twist. There you’ll find amazing concept art and an explanation of how the Twist changes the entire experience of the sculpture garden.

2,000-brick LEGO version of Edinburgh Castle and gardens

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its castle atop a volcanic plug of rock, and the Princes Street Gardens, a public park lying between the city’s Old and New Towns. It’s my home, so I’m obviously biased, but it’s widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and dramatic city centres in the world. The challenge of recreating my home city in the brick has haunted me for years, and I finally decided to take a proper crack at it. After 18 months of off-and-on building, multiple orders of bricks, and a great deal of cursing and starting over, this 2,000(ish) brick model was the result.

LEGO Edinburgh Castle and Prince Street Gardens

The model is 75cm by 40cm and captures the upper stretch of the famous Royal Mile, the Castle Rock, and the whole of the gardens — including the train tracks, the Scott Monument, the art galleries on The Mound, and the various churches which are dotted across this slice of the city.

Over a total of a year and a half, I was probably building this for three months or so, with flurries of activity punctuated with periods when I couldn’t bring myself to even look at it! Google Maps was a constant companion throughout the project, allowing me to zoom in on individual buildings to capture detail, or zoom out to understand general scale and comparative distances. It’s amazing how much you learn when you look in this level of detail at somewhere you think you know well.

Once the model was completed, I wanted to get some images against a real sky. The photo below captures one of my favourite views of the city — looking out from Waverley Bridge across the Eastern section of the Gardens, the National Gallery and Royal Academy buildings ahead, and the Castle looming over everything in the background. As happens often in real life, one of the city’s many double-decker buses has managed to get into the shot…

LEGO Edinburgh - The National Galleries and Castle from Waverley Bridge

Whilst I’m pleased with how the final model turned out, at the moment I’m saying I’m never attempting such a project ever again! However, I’ve already caught myself looking at maps of the city and idly wondering in which direction I should extend the diorama. I think it’s only a matter of time before I’m engrossed in mini city-building all over again.

A welcoming watchtower

Although watchtowers are meant to be a lookout for warding off foes, this one by Ayrlego is a bit different. With its colorful trees and clever archway, it’s rather inviting, and I can’t decide which of the two features I like better! The window coverings are also a lovely touch, with tasteful stickers that play off of the doorway curves.

Spring Watchtower

Ayrlego is skilled at creating a whole picture and story in a scene. Just take a look at this period-traveling Wainwright House or a vine-laden jungle lookout.

Danish waterfront built in Danish bricks

Nyhavn is Copenhagen’s “New Harbour” district–a bustling waterfront and canalside area of the city popular with tourists. Miro Dudas put together a microscale LEGO slice of Denmark’s capital, complete with multicoloured houses, outdoor seating for the area’s many bars and restaurants, and some cute little boats. Using 1×2 bricks “edge on” is an effective technique for all the windows, and don’t miss the underside of 1×2 jumper plates used to create some of the ribbed metalwork of the waterfront pilings. The large base, spelling out the district’s name, is relatively simple, but enhances the presentation of the model, making this microscale creation feel surprisingly large.

NyHavn “New Harbor”

London architecture at night

LEGO has produced a few brilliant sets representing London Architecture in its Creator Expert line, such as Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. Hyungmin Park has added to this, with renditions of Nelson’s Column and King’s Cross Station. Laid out smartly with the predesigned sets in the background and fan creation in the front, the spaces between are filled in with details of typical London scenes.

London King's Cross Station

The Hogwarts Express popping out of the train station is an easy one to see, and in my mind is the first thing I think of when I hear “King’s Cross”.

London King's Cross Station

My favourite Easter Eggs though, are the more subtle ones such as the Star Wars Royal Guard mixed in with the British Royal Guards, and the cat with the Mohawk, which has always reminded me of a feline British punk rocker.