LEGO Architecture Studio
“Create your own architecture” – It’s the marketing tagline behind the latest product in the LEGO Architecture Series. The set is called Architecture Studio, and with a generous assortment of over 1,200 unique shapes and building blocks, it’s a LEGO enthusiast’s dream.
Every piece is either white or clear, creating an elegant and beautifully finished look for every creation. For the first time, its instructional booklet deviates from the traditional step by step building illustrations. There’s over 250 pages introducing you to the most elemental design concepts and principles, famous architectural projects that illustrate these principles, and the architects who designed them.
I received this set for my birthday over the summer, but rather than build my own creation, I decided to revisit a design exercise from my first year architecture studio. The task was to recreate hand drafted floor plans, perspectives, and bass wood models of a famous architectural work. This time, instead of using bass wood, I got to use my favorite childhood building medium. I chose a personal favorite, the Delta Shelter by Olson Kundig Architects.
The great thing about using LEGO as a building medium, is that it forces the creator to be interpretive. Like charcoal drawings on canvas, definition and detail is limited. Prior to building, you have to carefully assess the range of available pieces and determine how accurately you’ll be able to represent the actual design you’re observing and recreating. It’s the same process that the creators of the LEGO architecture series use to design the models you see on the store shelves. They’ve handed the reins to us this time, and that’s what made it such a great building experience. I found myself constructing and deconstructing every time I discovered another piece in the set or another way to build a particular feature. You have to consider scale, and create individual modules for how different groups of LEGO pieces will represent the scale of the real world material assemblies.
I own over 10 of the LEGO architecture series, and this has been my favorite build by far. The set belongs under the tree of every freshman year architecture student this holiday season, and if you know an architect, you should probably get it for them too.