NEWLY RELEASED: Empire State Building & Trafalgar Square
- #21046 Empire State Building is a towering addition to the LEGO Architecture sereis. It has a whopping 1767 pieces for $129.99 / €99.99 / £89.99.
- #21045 Trafalgar Square is a unique addition to the Architecture series, as it includes a lot more landscaping details! It has 1197 pieces and is available now for $79.99 / €79.99 / £79.99.
(Our review copies are on the way—we’ll be sure to let you know what we think of the latest additions to the series!)
While the official LEGO Architecture sets focus on globally-recognized landmarks, many LEGO fans build intricate models of famous buildings from their home town. Let’s take a closer look at this custom LEGO set based on City Hall in Aarhus, Denmark.
ᴘʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ: #21045 Trafalgar Square
Now that we have an official photo of the latest addition to the LEGO Architecture series, we can explore what the set has to offer. This is the first of two sets slated for a summer release. (Learn about the upcoming #21046 Empire State Building in our earlier article.)
My immediate reaction was not entirely positive. I’m worried that the landscaping, fountains, and Nelsons Column distract from the front facade of the National Gallery. I also noticed strong similarities to the recently discontinued #21029 Buckingham Palace set which also places the building behind a fountain, fence and landscaping.
On closer look, there are some clever building techniques being employed which I look forward to building first hand. I have never seen the half-plate staircase technique used in an official set (it typically uses 1×2 or 1×4 panels in a SNOT configuration.) It looks like 1×2 Technic bricks are used for the front steps, allowing 3L Bar to be used for the columns.
The main building is constructed using the same SNOT techniques used for the Buckingham Palace set. I can’t quite tell what part is being used to achieve a ½ plate lip between the first and second story of the building, but look forward to finding out. I’m curious to see how they approached the sloping driveway which integrates nicely with the rest of the set.
LEGO Architecture pioneer Arthur Gugick’s legacy
I first learned about his work when I discovered his beautiful re-creation of St Basil’s Cathedral while researching my book. He also built models of Mont-Saint-Michel, the Taj Mahal, and other landmarks.
In addition to LEGO Architecture creations, Arthur made numerous LEGO mosaics, often using printed tiles instead of the more common colored plates or tiles.
The following links highlight his life and legacy:
- Wonders of the World, arthurgugick.com
- Skyscrapers, arthurgugick.com
- Saying goodbye to LEGO legend, Arthur Gugick (1960-2019), Brothers Brick.
- Remembering Beachwood teacher Arthur Gugick: In his own words, wkyc.com
Most LEGO builders know that there are thousands of different LEGO parts in production, and some parts are a lot more common than others. Let’s find out which parts are the most common, which parts are available in the widest selection of colors, and which parts have become a lot more popular in the last few years!
In this exclusive article, we share highlights from building the model, and interview the designer to learn more about designing great LEGO models and promoting your project on LEGO Ideas. With nearly 10,000 votes, it could become an official LEGO set!