LEGO Architecture: 12 Sets Explore Buildings Brick by Brick

Trevi Fountain

LEGO Architecture Trevi

Intricate Roman architecture gets the LEGO treatment as well with the Trevi Fountain set, modeled after the famous 18th century landmark at the junction of three streets in Rome. Says artist Rok galin Kobe, “At this small scale, some of its architectural elements, such as balustrades and balconettes, are abstracted by just one LEGO brick. In places where the scale doesn’t allow for finer detail, a trick was used; on the otherwise monochromatic fountain and facade, certain elements are distinguished by color. The gray LEGO bricks represent the bas-reliefs above the statues and the inscription above the arch as well as the whole second design feature, the sea reef. Its gray rocks break the symmetry of the LEGO model, a task accomplished on the original fountain by sculptures.”

The Empire State Building

LEGO Architecture Empire State Building

LEGO Architecture Empire State Building 2

Completed in 1931, the Empire State Building was built incredibly quickly at 4 1/2 floors per week and remained the tallest building in the world until 1972, when the World Trade Center opened. The LEGO model “uses unique building techniques to accurate represent the shifting geometry as the building rises in height. Half stud construction, Technic pieces and placement of ‘jUmper Plates’ were both needed at several locations.”

Beyond the official LEGO set, the Empire State Building has been built by fans many times, including at a large scale measuring over 4 feet tall by artist Sean Kenney. His version, commissioned as the centerpiece of the Empire State BUilding’s new gift shop, is made of over 13,000 LEGO bricks.

Rockefeller Center

LEGO Architecture Rockefeller

LEGO opened up a store in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, so it’s no surprise that the company chose this urban landmark as the basis of one of its architectural building sets. The blocky 1930s cluster of towers is a fairly straightforward build, not requiring too many alterations from the standard LEGO bricks.

Burj Khalifa

LEGO Architecture Burj Khalifa

Calling it an “extraordinary union of art, engineering and meticulous craftsmanship,” LEGO miniaturizes the 200-story Burj Khalifa using a single Technic three-bladed rotor propeller at the base to build upward, capturing all of those triangles and Y-shapes using square bricks.