The first time I was ever able to go to a LEGO store, I walked out of there with a modular set. I was on a work trip to the Seattle area back when I lived in Indiana, and I remember being so excited driving back to the hotel from Bellevue with 10211 Grand Emporium sitting in the backseat. I knew that it would still be weeks until I would be back home building it, but I couldn’t care less. Since then, the Modular Buildings Collection has had a special place in my heart. And while I’m not the kind of builder to keep them all assembled on a shelf, I still see them as the pinnacle of architectural design at minifigure-scale. So, with the impending release of the new LEGO Icons 10326 Natural History Museum, let’s see how it measures up to the rest of its kin. With 4,014 pieces, this is the largest of the modular buildings to date. It’s currently available for pre-order on the LEGO website, with release on December 1, retailing for US $299.99 | CAN $389.99 | UK £259.99.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Go on a guided tour of the new museum below!
After 18 previous installments, the next LEGO modular building has been debuted online. And with 12 more pieces than 10255 Assembly Square, 10326 LEGO Icons Natural History Museum will be the largest modular building to date. The set includes 7 minifigures (not counting two statues), an adorable pug, and an array of museum displays including a solar system model and removable brachiosaurus skeleton. Clocking in at 12″ (31 cm) tall, 14.5″ (38 cm) wide, and 9.5″ (25 cm) deep, the museum fits right in with other modulars like LEGO Icons 10312 Jazz Club and LEGO Modular Buildings Collection 10297 Boutique Hotel. Available for pre-order today, 10326 LEGO Icons Natural History Museum will be available from LEGO.com on December 1, and will retail for US $299.99 | CAN $389.99 | UK £259.99
Explore the museum below!
I do love a good museum, and this one is made of LEGO no less! This museum from Victor van den Berg offers more than just history to learn and explore. The first exhibit to draw the eye is the great dinosaur skeleton at the back of the first floor. It’s an impressive model, showing off a lot of cool parts usage. But the fun doesn’t stop there! The excellent parts usage extends to the other exhibits and the architecture of the museum itself. I particularly love the details of the white pieces above the animal exhibit on the left. And check out those windows on the second floor and the ceiling above! If you want to take a closer look at everything here, be sure to check out Victor’s Flickr photo stream for more images of the build–I’ll be doing that myself!
True story; I had a chance to work after hours at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. I was contracted to paint display backdrops for a Mars exhibit. It was late at night, long after the patrons and staff had gone home and a security guard and I were the only two people there. I can say with confidence that a museum at night is a strange and eerie place. Some lights are on, others are off and incidentally, they leave the animatronic dinosaurs turned on so they were moving and roaring throughout the night. This LEGO creation called Morning at the Museum by Alex Eylar reminds me of that experience. To be clear, the skeleton T-Rex is from this set but the environment Alex has built for it and the lighting makes this a stellar creation indeed. Alex is quite good at setting a mood in LEGO. Check out what I mean in our archives.
Art may be a very subjective topic, but Andreas Lenander knows the subject quite well. In a delightfully meta take on “Cubism”, they have incorporated LEGO DOTS cubes into the walls of a swanky art museum. The designs in the framed art are also quite lovely, showing the versatility of both Andreas and the DOTS tiles themselves. And that great bench and plant don’t exactly hurt the realism, either. This seems like a great place to stop and contemplate perspective issues and maybe enjoy a pricy beverage from the cafe. (Hey, the arts need to fund themselves sometimes.)
This build was inspired by design by Ryan Howerter, showing once again that great artists can build on each other’s successes. If you’re looking for your own sources of inspiration, might I suggest a stroll through our art tag?
Microscale buildings can be a challenge to design, but Luis Peña knows just how to make them sizzle. Inspired by the architectural work of Santiago Calatrava and Oscar Niemeyer, the custom buildings in Opera and Museum are filled with unusual elements and a ton of class. My favorite touches are the Mysterio Helmet orb/sculpture, and the Web-effect railings on the bridge. The curves from the balloon panels create a great sense of motion for the scene, too.
If tiny buildings are your thing, take a stroll through our archives for even more compact goodness.
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.
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.