Build the Best With LEGO Architecture Series Kits

Collectible Kits and Models for Architecture Fans

a hands and face of a child with glasses sticks out of a sea of red LEGO bricks
Hannah MacDonald at Bricklive in Scotland, 2017. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

What do you give youngsters and the young at heart who dream about building skyscrapers and monuments? Let them live out their fantasies! Here's a roundup of collectible LEGO construction kits — iconic buildings, towers, and skylines that will entertain anyone who has a passion for architecture and design. Too simple? Check out the LEGO Gifts for the Passionate AFOL Builder.

NOTE: All of these boxed kits have small pieces and may not be suitable for families with children. Take note of the suggested ages on each box.

 Matching the scale of the LEGO Architecture Lincoln Memorial, the U.S. Capitol is only 6 inches high, but a full 17 inches wide and 6 inches deep. Out of all the public architecture to be found in Washington, D.C., the Capitol is always a good choice to replicate.

LEGO Architecture Chicago Skyline has replaced the single building set. At 444 pieces, Chicago's skyline includes the Willis Tower, John Hancock Center, Cloud Gate, DuSable Bridge, Wrigley Building, and the 1972 CNA Center known as Big Red. Other city skylines in the LEGO series include London, Venice, Berlin, Sydney, and New York.

Like Big Red, the Willis Tower, once known as the Sears Tower, is a Chicago landmark by architect Bruce Graham. At one time LEGO produced the single building in an easy-to-assemble, 69-peice set that made a handsome black and white collectible model. The Willis Tower set has been retired, but it's still available from Amazon, although at an outrageous price.

Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier built this modernist residence for Pierre and Emilie Savoye outside of Paris in 1931. "The biggest challenges of the LEGO model construction," said Michael Hepp, designer of the LEGO model, "were the pillars and the complex roof design. I was amazed again and again by Le Corbusier’s art...."

 

The Sydney Opera House was a LEGO best-seller for years until replaced by the skyline of this famous city in Australia. The individual kit has been retired, but will be available from Amazon until supplies diminish.

The entire Sydney skyline is much more affordable and includes the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Tower, and the Deutsche Bank Place. Additional city skylines in the LEGO series include London, Venice, Berlin, New York, and Chicago.

Artist Adam Reed Tucker developed this LEGO model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie style Robie House. With 2,276 pieces, the LEGO Robie house ranks among the most sophisticated and most detailed of the construction models from LEGO's architecture series.

Originally designed in the 1930s by architect Raymond Hood, the Rockefeller Center in New York City is a masterpiece of Art Deco design. The LEGO model includes all 19 buildings, including the famous Radio City Music Hall and the 30 Rock skyscraper.

The first edition of this iconic tower had 3,428 pieces and created a three foot high model Eiffel Tower in 1:300 scale. This scaled-back version is a more affordable 321 pieces, rising to a foot high. The Eiffel Tower was not always a beloved Paris landmark, but it became a finalist in the contest to name the New Seven Wonders of the World.

It's not a skyline that anyone in New York City can recognize, but some nifty buildings can be built with this kit, including the Flatiron Building, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, and One World Trade Center. Only three of these skyscrapers are somewhat near each other. Which ones? Remember that the newest of the bunch, One World Trade Center, is way down in Lower Manhattan — but it's still the tallest. The Statue of Liberty is thrown in to keep 1WTC company. Other city skylines in the LEGO series include London, Venice, Berlin, Sydney, and Chicago.

New York City's historic 1903 Flatiron Building is not only one of the earliest skyscrapers in the world, but its design by the Chicago architect Daniel Burnham is a great lesson in architecture — not all buildings are rectangular boxes. The LEGO box set of the Flatiron building alone has been retired, but it's still available from Amazon until supplies run out.

Do you think LEGO construction models are made with square blocks? Not always! This LEGO kit captures all the curves of Frank Lloyd Wright's beautifully organic Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

This easy kit quickly assembles into an attractive replica of New York City's most famous landmark, the record-breaking Empire State Building, still one of the tallest buildings in the world.

The world's tallest man-made structure, Burj Khalifa, brings a little bit of Dubai into your living room — at least 208 pieces with this LEGO kit.

Compare this LEGO model with the real Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and you begin to realize the scope of memorial design. Is there a LEGO Abraham Lincoln sitting inside?

With over 500 pieces, the LEGO model of America's presidential home, the White House, is a lesson in historic architecture.

At nearly 700 pieces, this Parisian icon is one of LEGO's mid-sized architecture kits. What makes this boxed set a little different is that you really get TWO architectural works in one box. The mixed styling of the stone Louvre Palace museum, with its prominent mansard roof, stands guard over modernist I.M. Pei's 1989 glass pyramid — Medieval and Renaissance architecture meets Modernism, all in a LEGO box.

Now that you've followed directions with the architecture kits, create your own designs with 1,210 white and transparent bricks. The accompanying booklet gives you ideas, but no step-by-step instructions, so you are on your own — and that can be a step in the right direction.

Why? Because every year, LEGO retires some of their architecture kits and presents new ones. In fact, some of the buildings listed here have already been retired and Amazon is selling off stock. But as long as you get the hang of creating with LEGO bricks, why spend your money on individual buildings unless you are an avid collector? Get the bricks and build your own with Architecture Studio — never to be discontinued.

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Craven, Jackie. "Build the Best With LEGO Architecture Series Kits." ThoughtCo, Oct. 24, 2017, thoughtco.com/lego-architecture-series-kits-177819. Craven, Jackie. (2017, October 24). Build the Best With LEGO Architecture Series Kits. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/lego-architecture-series-kits-177819 Craven, Jackie. "Build the Best With LEGO Architecture Series Kits." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/lego-architecture-series-kits-177819 (accessed November 17, 2017).