There are many fantastic LEGO architects out there – just look through our archives. But if you like your structures a little more unconventional, then there are few better at that than Pan Noda. What I love the most about their buildings isn’t their odd designs, fascinating as they are. It’s how they deploy repeating motifs and detailed textures to create something as visually interesting up close as it is as a whole! In this instance, that involves the undersides of 1×1 clips, alternating horizontal and vertical portions of the wall, and a whole lotta cheese slopes. That extends beyond the building and into the base as well, which replicates the hexagonal shape of the tower. Finally, the climbing trees and vines add the perfect splash of colour to break things up even further!
The proficiency of LEGO builders never ceases to amaze me. Timothy Shortell (AKA Classical Bricks) tells a story of coming across a photo of the Ta Prohm temple in Cambodia. A week goes by, and boom – we get this amazing model at the end of it. That’s no time at all! Just the careful positioning of the roof tiles for that jungle-weathered temple look must have taken a good while. In fact, all the weathering is very well judged, and the tree roots winding their way down to the ground – very nicely done. It’s almost unfair how quickly this was all achieved. When I build for a week, I’m lucky if I’ve even got a half-finished model at the end of it, let alone one as good as this!
One of the great things about art (and yes, LEGO building is an art form!) is that people can draw on their own experiences and environments to find new meaning in a creation. Illia Zubashev came up with an in-depth backstory to this teetering tower. Apparently it’s the abode of a maverick scientist and inventor, which should come as no surprise – I mean, just look at it! As interesting as the description is, though, I didn’t register any of that when I first saw this. What popped into my head was the video game Sable. It’s completely unrelated, but it just has the same sort of vibe. So sorry I didn’t heed your fascinating description, Illia. At least I can appreciate what a good build this is!
So you’ve been into town, you’ve visited the LEGO bank that Eero Okkonen built, and now you feel like you need a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Luckily, Eero has you sorted for accommodation there too! Why not head down to Villa Mauski for a short stay? It’s just as art-nouveau, but with all the peace and quiet the Nordic forests do so well. You don’t even need to chop wood for the fire, the wood shelter is already full of 1×4 arch pieces for that!
Round the back, you’ve got a slice of forest to call your own in case you do need more wood. But those trees are so pretty, it would seema waste to chop them down! There are a lot of good uses of the so-called macaroni tube here. As in Eero’s previous architectural build, they’re used as a motif on the villa’s archway, but they’re also in the smoke and in the trees. You know, maybe just a short stay is not long enough to spend in Villa Mauski!
You probably know Finland for a few things: sauna, northern lights, rally drivers, and Eero Okkonen. What you might not know is its propensity for excellent art nouveau architecture. And what better way to show that than with Eero’s fantastic, and enormous, model dubbed the Tampereen Pankki! Eero might be better known for his character models, but he’s clearly a dab hand at LEGO architecture too. This doesn’t depict a specific building, rather it’s an amalgamation of a few different bank buildings in Eero’s hometown of Tampere (hence Tampereen Pankki = Bank of Tampere). See, you’re even learning some Finnish thanks to this build!
This charming abode by Daniel Barwegen is full of mystery. It’s titled “Onomatopeya”, a facsimile of a word that refers to words that imitate sounds (think “meow” or “atchoo”). But with the windmill and lack of fauna, this build seems to evoke the lack of noises, not noise words. That begs the question of why there isn’t anyone here? The little flying utility vehicle parked outside suggests we’re in the future, and the blue sky and windmill again make me think it’s a utopian rather than dystopian vision. But then again, it’s so overgrown! If someone does live here they’re no gardener… I dunno. In fact, just about the only thing I do know is that the Duplo window fits this place so well I almost didn’t recognize it.
I used to live down the road from a cathedral, and the one thing I have noticed about them and churches is that more often than not, they seem to always have scaffolding up somewhere for restoration work. This is based purely on anecdotal evidence of course, but I will use Margrabia Mokotowski‘s beautiful LEGO church as another datapoint to support this dubious claim! Inspired by a real church in Margrabia’s native Poland, it wouldn’t look out of place as the centerpiece of a medieval township, even with the heavy weathering in evidence with some nice texturing. The ever-present scaffolding, though, belies its true setting in a modern-day LEGO city. It’s funny how a few minifigures and safety barriers can change the context of a whole build by a few hundred years!
If the first thing that pops into your mind when thinking of dystopian futures is flat-pack furniture, well, you must be Cecilie Fritzvold. She decided to bring a touch of Scandinavian flair to the colossal cyberpunk city of New Hashima. You’d be forgiven for thinkin that Swedish minimalism and might not mesh that well with the often gritty cyberpunk aesthetic, but the concept works remarkably well. Little touches like the Japanese signage and neon decor make it look right at home.
I’ve said it before, but I love being able to travel vicariously through LEGO models. The Architecture series has a lot of the famous landmarks covered, but for the more day-to-day infrastructure, we need to turn to people like Justus M. Having visited the town of Bordeaux in south-western France, he took it upon himself to recreate some of the old architecture. Having been to France (albeit not to Bordeaux itself) quite a lot as a kid, I think I can say he’s nailed it! You can quite easily picture someone sitting outside with a coffee and a croissant. It’s enough to make me want to go back there. Magnifique, Justus!
If I say “Check out this twisty building by Escher”, you’ll probably picture upside-down stairs and ceilings that turn into floors. But MC Escher didn’t build with LEGO bricks (probably). Instead, I’m talking about Jakob Escher. Now I don’t know that the inside of this building doesn’t have staircases that lead only to themselves, but I do know that I would love to live here! This is the latest in a series of builds in Jakob’s own galaxy far, far away. There are hints of Star Wars here – Kamino and Endor spring to mind – but also some real-world inspiration, and heaps of creativity. The colours in particular remind me of Oriental architecture. The geometry is what really gives this the wow factor though; circular living quarters connected by trapezoidal corridors. MC Escher was renowned for his use of mathematics in his artwork… I think this creation would definitely have piqued his interest!
This swell house is, well, pretty swell! It comes courtesy of Pan Noda, and is as beautiful as it looks unstable. Did the architect have one too many shandies while designing this one? Or perhaps the building company had the instructions upside down? I can’t help noticing a lot of wizard’s wands used as decoration, so it could be that it’s magic holding this house up. I do wonder how such a property would be described by an optimistic estate agent… “Quaint countryside house, four floors with excellent views, and in a quiet neighbourhood. Property includes a lush garden with rock features. Unrestored property with period charm.”
To be fair, I’d be tempted to move in, albeit very carefully. Thankfully if you’re worried about dropping stuff off the side, there are plenty of nets hidden in this house. This cutaway shows exactly where: they’re used to give the walls their curves!
This LEGO build from Qian Yj awakens warm feelings from my childhood, of summer visits to my grandma’s house. From spending time with grandma, to watching TV together, and even having some sweets–this build hits all the memories! Not only does the build feature nostalgia, but check out the textures around the scene too. It’s rich in diverse textures and colors, such as the tile work of the patio floor. I really enjoy the plant life around the place, particularly the vines and lattice with a cute cat perched atop it. Of course, one of the most delightful parts usage I appreciate about the build is the use of the modified plate with double bearings as the roof tiles. Check out the rest of the build’s details and see what cool things you can find.