LEGO invites you to ‘release your inner architect’
Sou Fujimoto, MAD and SOM among big names contributing to 272-page book in new Architecture Studio set
Apart from the fact that they’re all architects, what do Sou Fujimoto, SOM, MAD, Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, Safdie Architects, REX Architecture all have in common? Well, the answer is that they’ve all chosen to endorse a plastic building block.
Not just any old building block, of course, but the latest in LEGO’s architectural range. LEGO Architectural Studio is a big box of tricks that lets anyone over 16 turn their hands to building design without the real worry that the thing might, you know, not stay up.
It differs from previous LEGO architectural releases in that instead of focussing on a specific landmark or structure - Farnsworth House, the Seattle Space Needle, The White House for example: it attempts to unlock the user's inner creativity and goes to the heart of architecture and design with a hefty 272 page book explaining the concepts behind and various stages of constructing an architectural project.
Inside there are 1,210 monochromatic LEGO bricks (and some transparent), and a 272-page ‘inspirational guide book’, written in collaboration with leading architects and edited by Christopher Turner. Could this be the same Christopher Turner who edits Icon magazine? We’d like to think so. Each chapter features an architectural concept and at the end of that chapter there is a workshop section with exercises to help the budding architect master that concept using the bricks in front of them.
“Release your inner architect and explore a world of endless creative possibilities,” says LEGO of its latest product. Let’s hope there are enough pieces in there to create some of the latest behemoths – like Gensler’s recently topped out Shanghai Tower - at 121 storeys, the tallest building in China. Though with the fad for miniscule housing at the moment – like Renzo Piano’s dinky Diogene house set in Vitra’s grounds – there should be enough bricks in there to construct something truly habitable. The kit retails at $149.99 - a lot cheaper than an architecture degree.
And if it piques your interest and you'd like to go a little deeper we recommend you start with a handful of Phaidon books that will give you a great overall understanding of architecture: Understanding Architecture, The Future of Architecture since 1889 and William Curtis's Modern Architecture Since 1900. Look out for our series of videos with Curtis in the coming weeks.