Lego targets architects with
monochrome building set


News: Danish toy company Lego has launched Lego Architecture Studio – a new set of building blocks aimed at the architecture and design community.

Lego Architecture Studio kit

The Lego Architecture Studio set comprises over 1,200 pieces of 76 unique components, from chamfered wedge-shaped blocks to simple bricks, designed to give as much freedom and creativity to the maker as possible.

Lego Architecture Studio kit

"Anyone with an interest in architecture can now create their own Lego original designs, as well as building mini architectural masterpieces such as the Eiffel Tower and the Trevi Fountain," said a statement from Lego.

Lego Architecture Studio kit

The new design, which became available in the UK and Europe for the first time this month, has eschewed Lego's typical bold primary colours for a monochromatic scheme of white and transparent elements.

Building elements have been made as simple as possible and without embellishments to make them flexible for the creation of small or large-scale models.

Lego Architecture Studio kit

"Architecture Studio takes Lego fans back to the basic building bricks that have inspired generations of aspiring architects, including me," said urban planner and founder of Common Office, Finn Williams, who launched the European version of the product at Lego's London flagship store last week.

Lego Architecture Studio kit

Lego aims to also strengthen the kit's appeal to architects, engineers and construction industry professionals with a 250-page guidebook.

Architecture companies led by Sou Fujimoto, Ma Yansong and Moshe Safdie are among those that have contributed to the manual, reflecting on the construction toy's double use as a design tool.

Lego Architecture Studio kit

The book also includes thematic examples of architecture to inspire Lego users, using diagrams to suggest ideas about scale, mass, surface, section, modules and repetition, as well as examples of projects built using the 1,200 bricks.

The launch of the kit coincides with the growing popularity of the Lego Architecture series, which offers sets to create reproductions of iconic buildings in Lego brick form such as Farnsworth House and Falling Water, with customised pieces and detailed plans.

Lego Architecture Studio kit

The new Architecture Studio is also intended as a reference to Lego's Scale Model Line from the early 1960s, when the company's then owner Godtfred Kirk Christiansen sought to tailor the toy for a Modernist market interested in the new International Style.

The line included five elements that matched the existing Lego bricks, but were only a third of the height making it possible to create more detailed structures. Scale Model was phased out in 1965, but its pieces were integrated into the main Lego line.

The new LEGO Architecture Series will retail at £149.99

  • M

    This is not new at all.

    • Anna Winston

      Hi M,

      It’s the first time it has been available in the UK and Europe – so new to lots of people!


  • matthieu

    What great news :) Sold out for at least one year :(

    • No it isn’t. Westfields have loads at RRP £149.

  • al mck

    No, Lego targets graphic designers who want to play at being architects.

    Architects “architect” with real bits of steel and concrete.

    • Michael Gossage

      Yeah go on, as if the architectural profession doesn’t have a bad enough ego problem. *Shakes head.

  • oyster

    I’ll buy my kids one of these.

  • Makes one great novelty item on the desk. Nice idea but the components… I can create more from amassed technic parts than those in the package.

  • Tom Wright

    The minimal myth continues.

    • Michael Gossage

      Shameful isn’t it!

  • JBoz

    They never model things first then, architects? They just go straight to construction? Seems legit.

    • Michael Gossage

      Yup we do, and it’s great fun. But mostly out of paper and card, not Lego, since it’s just considered too restrictive really. Although even traditional model-making techniques are taking a backseat with the ease of which one can produce interactive 3D models and animations.

  • Jot

    £149.99? So it’s true. Less really is more.

  • tallmanbaby

    Gosh, I was keen on this right up until I got to the price at the end, £149.99 for a set of Lego! If it was a third of that then I might be up for buying a set.

    What about an article on the Anchor Stone Blocks, if you were lucky you could still pick up an original set of those for much less.

    • I’ve got a slightly incomplete set if anyone is interested!

  • Please

    Basic bricks yes, but no colour? No.
    The fear of colour in our profession is embarrassing.

    • nikitx

      Look at it like a modelling tool to create spaces. The monochromatic scheme, especially in a light tone, is the easiest way to see shadow and light. Also, imagine how many more parts the set would have to match all the colours people could ask for. Someone wants their wall green, another one red and so forth…

      • Eric Whiting

        This is a design-school approach, and only rational from an academic perspective. Humans were never meant to live in white boxes.

        It’s impractical from a functional standpoint and it’s popular today more as egotistical architects get seduced by trendy forms that have no relation to climate, function or experience. No color is a cop out.

    • Inés

      During my studies in architecture school, one of my teachers said in his construction class: “do not use the colour! Because you don’t know anything about colour! But I do, so I have written a book about it”.
      That’s the reason of my fear. :/

  • Will

    President Business’ wet dream.

  • hanna

    I want to buy it. How much and where to get it?

  • Brilliant! But it would have been more useful years back. Always been a Lego fan, however, a special architecture studio kit is a good idea to model.

  • nsp

    Very limited. For Lego, it makes sense to constrain it to bricks, but I don’t think architects need more encouragement to build boxy, monochrome buildings.

    • Inés

      I think exactly the same… very very limited.

    • Gehry fans can play with tin foil out of the box.

  • FANTASTIC! Thanks for flagging this. Picked one up at Westfields yesterday to take on camping holiday in France to entertain two sons.

    Justified as a wedding anniversary present for my interior stylus wife! She doesn’t know yet and I buy train sets for the boys, not for me, don’t I! ;-)

    • Fred

      I like your style Steam Co.

  • Where’s Froebel when you need him?

  • Eric Whiting

    Fun….but sad. Hugh Newell Jacobsen knew how to do all white right. But if I see another living or working space designed like a clean room in factory, I’m going to vomit all over my Architectural Record.

    Although many folks never seem to unplug these days, humans are not robots. Eliminating color and detail just like randomly following any fad is not “progress”, and I believe ignores a fundamental tenet of the human experience.

    Hey, if our clients request design void of hue, it’s our job make it the best we can. But the fact that it is recognised in a child’s toy as a trait of the profession scares me.

    • Fanned for the HNJ reference!

  • Eric Whiting

    If you cannot try and fail in architecture school, when does the critique happen? How do you learn? Does your professor expect you to experiment with your client’s money?

  • Crash test time. First impressions positive. White is good as it avoids OCD around having enough of one colour. Weren’t buildings on blue prints, er… white?

    Also could do with more and useful sorting trays.

    #inspired #screenfreeday

  • James

    Lego for architects? Yes please Santa.

  • Nicholas Canargiu

    I have this. It’s beautiful!

  • Gustavo Cao Cancio

    Pricier than regular blocks, boring (only one colour?) and simpler (without electronic components). It’s very appropriate for architects!

  • B

    F*cking overpriced.

  • Guest

    With great skill and quite amazing dexterity I finally mastered Lego’s Farnsworth House. Nothing can top that.

  • Gavin

    So ‘architecty’. Like render boxes, any models will look great when new, then slowly turn yellow over time from UV damage. Specify the right colour architects. Should have done the kits in yellow.

  • Legolass Slattery

    Real brick builds have colour.

  • Canastrophy

    That price tag. I’d rather buy Hammer SDK/Minecraft/StarMade for less, and build there. In those I could at least walk around for a bit.

  • Sim

    Well, basically this is what I wanted Lego to be (and sought for) when buying Lego for my kids, not some pre-programmed box with limited range and a prescribed design but freedom and abundance to create and build. Therefore I recommend Kapla.

    BUT, the price is insane (if you boil it down to the price per block and relate that to the ‘normal’ price per block) and Lego screwing over Ai Wei Wei, and basically being a coward has already created a rather frosty relationship with this company for me (to say the least.)

  • Steve Williamson

    Lego is already responsible for a generation of square-box architects.

  • Darth Shawn

    So they removed the dye from the plastic, called them LegoWHITE and charged double? I’m assuming Lego falls somewhere between the old-school white paper models and the (now) ubiquitous 3D printed ones?