Tag Archives: Buildings

Spirited Away bathhouse recreated from LEGO bricks in intricate detail

In the Studio Ghibli animated classic Spirited Away, a sense of wonder and magic infuses just about everything. Marcin Otręba takes us on a trip to a LEGO recreation of the iconic bathhouse, and it’s every bit as wonderous. From the graceful curve of the bridge to the spot-on color choices and complex tiling in the walls, this microscale reproduction is very true to the original. But, like in the film, there’s more here than you might first see. Keep reading to discover some of the secrets!

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Rising from the ash and fog is this incredible collection of LEGO buildings

If you’re looking for a LEGO masterclass in weathered architecture, Ralf Langer is your guy. He’s created a plethora of beautifully detailed buildings, structures, and scenes. He also kindly shares tips on how to achieve the techniques on his social media. This exquisite group of conjoined buildings is his latest addition, and it doesn’t disappoint! With a gothic vibe, they transform from a crumbling base into a colorful block you might like to visit.

to the sky

Right now, Ralf doesn’t have many pictures available for this build. But as you can see, he uses a variety of cool techniques and color combos to achieve the vibe he’s looking for. These structures include great shaping tools, like hinges, hoses, arches, and even some minifigure posing handles. Even the sides less visible are stunning! There are loads of random tidbits that are worth a zoom-in, but one of my favorite part usages is the unique design created with mini copper Exo-Force legs. Gorgeous!

While you’re here, stick around for more of Ralf’s work. And if this isn’t your style, try out some other great architectural builds we’ve featured!

Is LEGO a cottage industry?

What do you do when you’re already a great builder, but want to challenge yourself? Do Andreas Lenander has done, and create an amazing cottage using the most questionable construction techniques you can think of. They really don’t make them like they used to.  While Andreas has drawn inspiration from other great builders including Grantmaster and Ralf Langer, each dodgy construction features updates and tweaks to make this build truly unique.

Agineus cottage

Get away from it all and ponder the meaning of life

Builder Andreas Lenander gives us a place to ponder the imponderables at the Jaz’ira Monastery. This secluded island getaway has it all, including great building techniques, intricate details, and even an elusive LEGO goat. There’s also wallpaper from Wayne Manor in the tower, suggesting this island may hold some dark secrets. Or that Andreas just like making use of unusual parts and liked the pattern. Who are we to say? What we can say, though, is that the detailing on the roof tiles is stellar, and the teal and gold accents on the second tower are equally elegant. I also like the disconnected splash of transparent blue 1×2 tile around the base – sometimes you don’t need to attach everything to make a scene feel connected.

Jaz'ira Monastery

This creation was inspired by the monastery category in this year’s Summer Joust event. Check out other great builds we’ve featured from that competition!

This Once-ler House LEGO creation is a whimsical homage to Dr. Seuss

Inspired by the 2012 film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, this LEGO creation by Pieter Dennison is a whimsical homage. Right away we’re drawn to the top of the Once-ler House with expertly placed shingles; they’re made from complementary colors and placed in a way to give it a slightly off-kilter, dilapidated effect. The choice to use a more muted green for the base works and brown Technic axle connectors for the tree stumps works well for this build.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – The Once-ler.

Once-ler House.

2 modular buildings are always better than 1

What is better than one LEGO modular building? Two LEGO modular buildings and make it a corner building! Kale Frost show us what an upscale Birch Books might have looked like. Kale stayed true to the official set design for most of his creation. He did however add a few little touches to make this creation truly stand out. Complete with a signboard in the shape of a book to emphasize that they are selling books inside. The lettering above the entrance also is a nice touch and it is executed very well using the new curved 1×1 slope. I do wonder what the S would look like had the curved 1×1 slope been used there as well. He further added a brick-built pillar box which goes great with the British vibe of the building. Now, all we can do is wait for an upscale version of the 107 house next to the Birch Books.

Birch Books - Upsized

Delicate hues and enchanting views

You don’t see light aqua slopes used in LEGO builds very often. But boy do they look nice on this cottage, built by Azurekingfisher. I love how the plate offset gives it texture. The steep roof sections join together seamlessly and act as the perfect canvas for those detailed dormer windows. The ornamental fence elements and window arches really shine here.

Dormer windows with vine

Of course, we can’t overlook the beautiful vines and pastel colors carried throughout. The Friends cupcakes make for excellent flowers. While we’ve seen that application before, this palette doesn’t seem like it could be any more perfect. It’s even carried inside to the detailed tile floors.

Dormer windows with vine

Azurekingfisher is really talented with striking color palettes and intricate designs. Just take a look at what they’ve done with plant leaves.

TBB Cover Photo for November 2020: A Cozy Cabin Awaits

One of my favorite annual activities is heading to the mountain where my fam stays at an A-Frame in the snow, so this A-Frame build from, Norton74, immediately brings thoughts of winter and fun.

A-Frame Cabin

Where it gets good, and one of my favorite things about Norton74’s builds, is looking at all the details scattered throughout. These details tell the story of this cabin and really bring the build to life, further reminding me of our A-Frame vacay. Take a look at that log pile and saw, cookie rounds for log ends is a smooth move. Seriously, look at those logs. Other notable features that bring me to the mountain include the jagged roof, the abundance of wildlife, and the little doodads scattered here and there.

Now I need to see the inside of this cabin….is it February yet?

Submit your LEGO creations for a chance to be featured across TBB social media for a month! Check out the submission guidelines share your builds today.

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Shopping in simpler times

These days when we go to the store, we’re typically faced with thousands of products. But back in the pioneer days – in the “Wild West” – sometimes only bulk essentials sat on shelves. Typically grocers lived in the same building as their store, and people paid in trades more often than cash. This LEGO trading post by Thomas Gion pays homage to that history. I’m a particular fan of the well, which is executed with a really authentic look, and even “pumps” when you spin the windmill.

Old West Trading Post

The little building is fully furnished on the inside with period furniture and wares from that time.

Old West Trading Post

This trading post is part of a series of western-style buildings, one of which we recently featured.

Building bricks from bricks makes for picture-perfect architecture

The Aarhus Royal Custom House in Denmark is said to be architect Hack Kampmann’s finest work. Now, this massive minifigure-scale tribute may be the finest work of LEGO builder Poul-Erik Borre. The design is exceptionally like the actual building, but it’s even more than that. The color and texture work is impressive. Additionally, there is some awesome parts usage going on to create the angles. As someone who has tried to build complicated roofs before, I know this is no easy feat. The use of the modified 1×2’s with flexible tips to get the right shape for the rounded peaks is my favorite aspect.

Royal Customs House (Toldboden), Aarhus

There is a Youtube tour of the model promised for the future. In the meantime, take a look at Boore’s medieval village, which is featured in the LEGO House.

Fishing in muddy waters

To me, LEGO builder Ralf Langer is known for his quite technical timbered buildings. This creation is no exception. We all know building a round structure with square LEGO bricks can be quite a challenge. As you can see a lot of the creation is round: the roof, the wooden staircase made of bars and tread links beside the tower, the bay window on the building on the right, the bridge between the two buildings, and that domed roof made with triangular road signs. Ralf almost makes it look easy. One of the best things about this creation is the usage of black sausages, round 1×1 plates with an open stud and brown 1×6 arches to create a round shape for the tower. Very clever! Another thing that deserves a mention is the use of the plant stem with 3 leaves to create the foliage for the trees. There are a lot of nice techniques and details to discover, but I’ll let you discover those yourself.

Fishing in muddy waters

Shine on you crazy diamond (store)

The Enchanted Diamond by Maxim Baybakov is a LEGO ode to “studs not on top” construction. The entire front façade is based on a very clever inversion of arch bricks with lovely insets of 2×2 turntable bases. I’m also fond of the column that flank the lower windows. The unusual texture there is thanks to Technic gearshift connectors. The roof has a great technique as well, with layers of dark blue 2×2 and diagonal tiles forming an intricate pattern. The end result is very upscale, as befits a high-end shop.

Enchanted diamond

Maxim also creates a nice little story with the minifigures – it looks like someone is busy casing the joint. It might be easier to just follow along behind the other folks and pick up their costly litter…

Enchanted diamond 1

Maxim is well on the way to building the perfect downtown district. The Enchanted Diamond would look great nestled between the barber shop and bookshop.