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.

Even steampunks go to church

I have never been enthralled with steampunk. Maybe it’s because I’m not the biggest fan of the Victorian Era in general, let alone a fantastic version of it filled with steam-driven automatons. Despite that, I can recognize a cool LEGO build when I see it, no matter what era it is from. And that is what this steam-church by Dwalin Forkbeard is. Inspired by a church in Ukraine, this particular one lacks a second tower (due to lack of parts) and the square in front (also due to a shortage of parts), but it looks great just as it is. I love how the smaller chunks of city life are connected to the central build by pipes, linking them together without needing to make a giant plaza. And I do like pipes. I also like seeing the planet half-spheres used for domes. Add in some handcuff ornaments and one amazing gas lamppost, and you have something special. Isn’t that right, old chap?

Technopil City

The treasure is knowledge

Of the two similar structures in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra in southern Jordan, Al Khazneh and El Deir, the iconic “Treasury” featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is much more famous than the larger (and arguably more spectacular) “Monastery” deeper in the Nabatean archaeological site. So it’s no surprise that we’ve seen Al Khazneh depicted in LEGO many times over the years, with nary a Monastery in sight (or brick). Nevertheless, I appreciate each new LEGO Petra, like this one by Inthert built only from tan pieces.

Monochome Petra

What’s especially notable about this build is less its monochrome color scheme than the variety of interesting “illegal” techniques Inthert uses to achieve shapes and angles at this scale. LEGO’s internal design team follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure that official LEGO sets are study in the hands of grubby little hands, while adult builders and other LEGO fans have no such restrictions (so it’s rather amusing when commenters decry the use of such techniques in fan-built models — stop it). Specifically, many plates and tiles are half-attached to studs or wedged in with friction, while a number of the Technic pins used as columns are connected using the gaps that allow the pins to flex for clipping into place. But my favorite detail is the Technic gear atop the “roof” of the central section.

Be sure to click through to the full-size photo and expand it to take in all the interesting details and techniques.

Fooling around in the royal court

My friend Doug Hughes isn’t always outspoken, but his LEGO builds are certainly bold! I’m constantly impressed by his unique designs and clever parts usage. This latest piece chronicles the entertainment of a jester in a royal court. But I have to be honest, I almost lose the jester in the majesty of the whole scene. The perfect curvature, the bold colors, and the mix of architectural styles all pull you into every independent detail. You get lost in loving the floating pillars, or statues, or trees, or gold designs, or even the texture created by the underside of jumper plates. Then you step back again and the whole thing paints a harmonious picture. Brilliant.

The Jester's Travels

While you’re looking, I would play a little eye-spy. Then check out another favorite of mine, Doug’s Seanchan Greatship.

A peaceful pagoda in troubled times

I think we could all use a little more zen in our lives right now, and this peaceful pagoda by Ayrlego is the perfect blend of simple, yet elegant architecture and a serene landscape. From the sturdy brick foundation to the gently sloping roofs, this harmonious pagoda is sending out some positive vibes.

Lotii Pagoda

At this research facility, the future is NOW!

Inspired by the work of Syd Mead, builder Jme Wheeler packs a lot of punch into a fairly small area, creating a sprawling, Futurist research facility in LEGO microscale form.

The builder makes great use of a limited black and blue color palette on the buildings and all light gray rocks. Restricting the colors of the structures gives the whole facility a cohesive look. It makes the green plant matter quite striking and yet doesn’t distract from the beautiful building designs. The tall, stacked building gives us some impossible architecture that somehow feels right at home in the scene and you can almost imagine workers bustling through the covered walkways between buildings. I love the use of the gray curved tiles to represent a raised road or perhaps a monorail track. The windmills are a clever addition and the tiny island with a single palm tree is a great little gem hiding in plain sight.

Sheltering Sky Research Facility

Stunningly large microscale model of Burj Khalifa

At first glance, this LEGO model of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai could be mistaken for the official set… wait, who am I kidding? there’s no possible way you could confuse this incredible model by Rocco Buttliere for the LEGO set made with only 333 pieces.

Burj Khalifa - برج خليفة‎ - Dubai

There are so many great details that I’m not sure where to start. How about with the inner ring at the base of the model, which uses circular roller-coaster tracks to create a faceted plaza between all three spurs of the building.

A Tower in a Park

Rocco also creates large trees that match the look of the tiny trees made from green flower parts.

Landmark Meets Landscape

Along with the many stunning architectural details like the symmetrical recessed circular gardens, and the gently curving buildings along the edge of the model and the multiple sloped and terraced plazas, the three tapering spurs capture the look of this iconic landmark beautifully.

Curve your enthusiasm

LEGO has released a lot of great sets in their Architecture theme, but they all have one big drawback. They’re all based on buildings that exist. I mean…c’mon. This is LEGO we’re talking about. Can’t we be a bit less derivative and a bit more creative? Happily, F@bz didn’t limit themselves to recreating a landmark, they built something new for us to enjoy. In Architecture #1, we get a functional, realistic-looking building with some pretty unique shaping. Those big curves are made from a series of split-level plates sandwiched between 1×2 transparent plate, bent around a curved-slope base. Sweet.

Architecture # 1   (01)

As enviable as that curve is, though, don’t overlook some of the other great details. The roof-level mechanics include ingots and minfigure accessories. My favorite, though, is the stamped letter used as a tiny statue/sign in the courtyard.

This is F@bz’s first venture into microscale building, but hopefully not the last.

Experience the unspeakable horror of the Old Gods

I am a huge fan of Lovecraft’s writing — and horror in general — so imagine my delight in seeing Revan New‘s latest spooky LEGO creation. This crumbling manor hides eldritch secrets that would render the casual viewer mad as a hatter! The building is architecturally beautiful with its front columned entrance and central tower. I really like the builder’s use of sideways building to bridge the area between the main building and the upper tower piece. The multiple roof treatments are quite nice too. The two smaller side roofs have a pleasing shape and the central domed roof is just beautiful. The landscaping serves the scene well by sticking with muted earth tones to continue the theme. The whole scene reminds one of an abandoned mausoleum, which is not a bad comparison when you’re trying to evoke a scary atmosphere.

Horror from beyond in manor

Of course, no tribute to Lovecraft would be complete without an eldritch, tentacled creature. Read on to see what horrifying secrets await inside

Santa Maria del Fiore – a Florentine cathedral to lift the spirit

When the master builders of the Renaissance were building things from bricks, they were not using ABS plastic like LEGO master builders do today. They were building with marble, constructing some of the most beautiful buildings ever built. The proportions, the balance, the arrangement of the different elements were intended to raise the hearts and spirits of those visiting to an experience of the supernatural. Scaled down and converted from marble to ABS, those same buildings remain awe-inspiring. Take this model of Santa Maria del Fiore, the cathedral of Florence, Italy. Perhaps bricksandtiles is not Arnolfo di Cambio or Filippo Brunelleschi, some of the men who designed various parts of it (the cathedral was under construction from 1296 until 1436, when the dome was completed and the church was consecrated, so lots had their hand on it), but nonetheless this LEGO version is spectacular in its own right.

Florence Cathedral

The famed octagonal dome is built from countless rounded 1×2 plates, mimicking the tiled roof splendidly. Sand green grille tiles serve as green marble borders to the intricate multicolored inlays on the real thing. But there is a lot more inlaying of sand green with the white, brick built all over the place. With the tower and the baptistry, the whole structure is a massive LEGO build, worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Florence Cathedral

Of course, this is not the first version of the cathedral featured on The Brothers Brick; check out another LEGO Florence cathedral we featured last year.

TBB cover photo for March 2020: Bricks, bricks never change

This Fallout homage by Ralf Langer captures that moment you step out of the vault perfectly (and such a memorable moment it is in every game). Between the desolate landscape and the lonely billboard, it’s hard not to think of the better times before nuclear war, but let’s look at the positive side of things. Take a close look and you’ll spot many details that bring this Fallout scene to life — from the tires and exposed wires surrounding the vault entrance, the tears in the billboard leaving exposed boards, and the subtle curvature of the desertscape (we’ll be watching your Instagram for your technique reveal). The simple yet awe-inspiring contrast between the vault and the open world drew us to this image for March’s cover photos on The Brothers Brick social channels.

Building the Future

Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Then read the submission guidelines and submit your photo today. Photos that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be considered, and will be removed from the group.

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This one isn’t quite on the level

In spring 2010 the Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) received a commission to bring “a new residential typology” to Manhattan. They delivered 35 stories of twisty goodness in VIA 57 West. The tetrahedral shape is a pretty far cry from a typical blocky facade you might expect to see.

Builder Nicolas Carlier rendered this unique shape in LEGO, and did a solid job of not being constrained by typical building styles. Long runs of plate ascend at unexpected angles, propped up by tiles and cheese wedges. The interior’s plaza makes good use of modified 1×1 round plate and 1×1 cones to fill out the greenery.

VIA 57 WEST

Just like the real building, this model has a very different feeling when viewed from the other side. Even in LEGO form, you still get a good feel for how the residential needs of the building are being met. A beautiful building still needs to be functional, after all.

VIA 57 WEST

Live the Parisian life on the Boulevard des Lumières

It’s always a beautiful day on the Boulevard des Lumières, an extremely impressive first time LEGO build by LepraLegoMocs. The builder was influenced by the Haussmann style of architecture which can be see in many parts of Paris and exemplifies what many of us think of as the “Parisian Style”. The angled corners of the building creates an elegant feeling and make for a beautiful roof shape featuring dormer windows. I really love the window treatments which are simple but very effective with repetition. The use of white and brown on the lower floor creates a nice contrast and keeps the whole building from being one big expanse of tan. The addition of the rounded poster display on the corner really adds to the Parisian flavor of the entire piece.

Boulevard des Lumières

Keep reading to see the detailed interior