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How to expand the LEGO Modular Buildings

by admin on October 24, 2015

in Building Techniques

Most LEGO fans display the LEGO Modular Buildings as they are. They may connect the buildings in a different order to create a slightly varying layout, but other than that LEGO Modular Building streets tend to look the same. However LEGO Modular Buildings actually lend themselves for expansion both upwards and sideways, and by this offering a lot more possibilities and variations. And to achieve this is not that hard. 🙂

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Street View

LEGO MODULAR BUILDINGS UPWARDS EXPANSION: Most LEGO Modular Buildings are about a foot (12 inches) tall. The highest buildings is the #10224 LEGO Creator Town Hall at 20 inches. This is a suitable height range for most people who display the LEGO Modular Buildings a shelving system or table at home. The buildings are large enough to be impressive, but not too large to take up too much space.

LEGO Modular Buildings Series

However for public displays, or for large LEGO rooms, the bigger the better. The easiest way to make your LEGO Modular Building display more impressive is to simply increase the number of floors. All you have to do is buy multiple copies of each LEGO Modular Building and add in one, two, or more additional floors in between the first floor and the roof section. All LEGO Modular Buildings can be expanded this way because by design they have stacked floors. You can even create some very impressive high-rise buildings this way with very little additional work. See various expanded versions of the #10251 LEGO Creator Brick Bank, created by LegoSjaak. The original set is the smallest building in the first row.

LEGO Modular Brick Bank Variations

LEGO MODULAR BUILDINGS SIDEWAYS EXPANSION: You can also make the LEGO Modular Buildings larger by expanding them sideways. This takes more designing and planning as the LEGO Modular Buildings don’t naturally extend sideways, but it is still fairly easy to do. Again, your first step would be to buy an extra copy of the set (or more -depending on how much you want to expand it), then start building. You can simply repeat the original design of the set and duplicate each section. So for example where the original building has two windows next to each other, you can expand that to four. All of the LEGO Modular Buildings can be expanded this way, and they look exceptionally good.

LEGO Modular Parisian Wide

The #10218 LEGO Creator Pet Shop particularly lends itself to this type of expansion because it is made up two buildings split in the middle. You can buy 2-3 extras of this set to create a row of residential buildings and small shops. You can even change to colors to add variety. For example the sand-blue Pet Shop section of the set looks excellent in sand-green and sand-red.

LEGO Modular Expanded Buildings

Other LEGO Modular Buildings that look particularly good with a sideways expansion are the corner buildings. This includes the #10182 LEGO Creator Café Corner, the #10211 LEGO Creator Grand Emporium and the #10232 LEGO Creator Palace Cinema.

LEGO Modular Palace Cinema Expanded

LEGO MODULAR BUILDINGS UPWARDS & SIDEWAYS: For truly large and impressive buildings you can combine the two methods mentioned above, and expand the original sets both upwards and sideways. There is really no limit on how tall and how wide you can make them.

LEGO Modular Parisian Wide and Tall

LEGO MODULAR BUILDINGS MIRROR BUILDING: Another way you can add variety to your LEGO Modular layout is to create a mirror image of the original set. The corner buildings are particularly good for this and you can create an entire block using this technique. The apartment side of the #10218 LEGO Creator Pet Shop can also be mirrored by placing the door on the right and the bay window units on the left. It creates an interesting variety when you use several copies of the set.

LEGO MODULAR BUILDINGS OTHER EXPANSIONS: Lately LEGO designers have been making the LEGO Modular Buildings more interesting. This is particularly true for the #10246 LEGO Creator Detective’s Office and the #10251 LEGO Creator Brick Bank. Both have smaller buildings fused together, which means they can be creatively expanded on their own, and thus making varied widths and roof lines.

LEGO Modular Detective's Office Wider

LEGO Modular Detective's Office Wide

LEGO MODULAR BUILDINGS INSIDE EXPANSIONS: Of course expanding the buildings on the outside means that you will have expanded space on the inside as well. You can simply make larger versions of the rooms of the original set (the easiest option), or you could divide up the inside space in your own way and add additional areas.

LEGO Modular Detective's Office Pool Hall

As you can see, there are lots of ways to make your LEGO Modular layout unique, and it doesn’t even take that much work or design skill. If you want, you can spend the time on more complex variations, but if you would like to keep it simple, you can just duplicate or slightly vary what the original sets provide. This is also an excellent way to hone your building skills, and increase the enjoyment you get from each set.

LEGO Modular Expanded Buildings 2

If you would like to get more inspiration on expanding your LEGO Modular Buildings, you can find many examples on the various LEGO forums and picture sharing sites. I also highly recommend the flickr album of LegoSjaak, who specializes in expanding the LEGO Modular Buildings and built a whole city square with them. All pictures in this article are from his album. And you can also check out the currently available LEGO Modular Buildings at the Online LEGO Shop.

Shop LEGO Modular Buildings

So what do you think? Do you collect the LEGO Modular Buildings series? Have you considered making them larger by adding extra floors or making the buildings wider? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Clumsybumsy October 24, 2015 at 11:21 AM

I do collect the modular buildings. However I only own the Grand Emporium and Parisian Restaurant at the time. I plan on getting a Pet Shop in November though, before the prices go through the roof. Followed by the Palace Cinema in December, the Brick Bank in January and the Detectives Office in February. After that I will have to decide whether I want to get a MISB Fire Brigade to tear open and build or to expand the Brick Bank.

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rainey October 24, 2015 at 3:27 PM

Interesting possibilities.

Personally, I can see going horizontally a little bit but there is a charm to the buildings the way they are. They have an innocent, small town feel that they lose in your photo illustrations above.

That isn’t to say I don’t admire the vision of that builder and think the extended plaza he or she created is fantastic but the town-turned-city has lost a lot of the charm to my own way of thinking. I like that the city hall is the tallest building — that’s very traditional — and that each of the buildings — as individual as they are — respects the scale of the ones around it.

Always interesting to hear about other possibilities and techniques though! I hope that never stops.

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admin October 24, 2015 at 9:55 PM

Yes, I agree that the buildings have a sweet charm as they are, and they are perfectly fine for most people’s purpose. However if you would like to add a bit of variety, these options can be interesting. Also They are quite important at LEGO conventions, where the regular size Modulars often look too small. But yes, the Modulars are charming. 🙂

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Tom October 24, 2015 at 4:40 PM

I’ve always seen the modulars as parts packs but I’ve actually kept the boxes for obvious reasons. This is interesting as I tend to turn them to other mocs (usually medieval but other buildings too). This is an interesting twist as I’ve never considered multi building a modular as the only one I have multiples of is the grand emporium. So thank you for sharing, I’m more curious now….

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admin October 24, 2015 at 9:56 PM

Tom, yes, it is an interesting option – especially for MOC-ers who like to come up with their own versions.

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TheBrickLot October 24, 2015 at 5:52 PM

Cool, I raly want to expand mine in the way of expanding sideways, but how exactly would you approach that task?

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admin October 24, 2015 at 9:59 PM

Expanding sideways is a bit more challenging than expanding upwards. But it also allows more variety. The easiest way would be is to double things. So for example the original Parisian Restaurant has two windows on the second floor, so you could expand that to four. Using LDD would be a good way to play with options and work out the details to see what looks best.

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TheBrickLot October 25, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Ok thanks I’ll try ldd

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LegoSjaak December 7, 2015 at 7:43 AM

Great to so all of my modifications in this item!! I was pleasantly surprised! If anyone would like to ask something, please do so! You can visit my Flickr-site and place comments.. I’ll Always answer them!

Next january 2016 i will post new pictures of my MOD of the Lego Brick Bank! Hope to see comments soon!

Best regards, LegoSjaak

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admin December 7, 2015 at 10:12 AM

Nice to have you over! Looking forward to see your Brick Bang mod! I would also really like to see some color variations of the modulars. Sometimes it is hard to visualize, but some of them do look really good in other colors. Maybe something you would like to add to your digital mods? 😉

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LegoSjaak December 8, 2015 at 2:35 AM

Thanks for your reply! So far i kept the original colors…and i think i will do so in the future.. I always used only bricks from two original sets, to make one large XL-modular… Changing a color would look good for a lot of modulars, but to keep a baseline in my modular layout, i decided to stick to the original colors and architecture. The Parisien Restaurant is a XL-modular that has been modified the most…especially on the backside (see my Flickr-Album of this modular): https://www.flickr.com/photos/legosjaak/albums/72157651153228611

I’ve seen digital and realbrick Green Grocers in other colors on EuroBricks… that was fun to see. By the way, my digital mod are made by a very simple programme: ‘Paint’ It is hard to change colors there…. i have never used LDD…maybe i’ll work with that in the future…!!

Best regards, LegoSjaak from the Netherlands

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admin December 8, 2015 at 12:40 PM

I love your modified Parisian! I looked through your flickr gallery extensively when writing this post, and I’ very impressed with all of your models. I didn’t realize you weren’t using LDD, so I thought changing colors would be easy. It would have been interesting to see, but since you are using Paint I understand it would be difficult. Looking forward to your future models! Oh, and feel free to let us know about them. Maybe I can write an update post in the future highlighting your MOCs. 🙂

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LegoSjaak December 8, 2015 at 3:34 AM

Here is also my latest video, where you can see the XL-modulars in my layout…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fey0gA1oIz4

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admin December 8, 2015 at 12:43 PM

Thanks for sharing! Looks awesome! I think the first picture I remember seeing from you was planning out your whole plaza when I was doing a search on Modular layouts. I have been following your flickr account ever since. 🙂

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LegoSjaak January 8, 2016 at 4:28 AM

Here is a planning of my XL-MOD of the Lego 10251 Brickbank. The footprint (baseplate) of the building will be 56 studs wide. The building will be 48 instead of 24.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/legosjaak/23860658089/in/photostream

Check to see more, the coming days!!

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admin January 8, 2016 at 9:18 AM

This is particularly interesting to me as I just built the set. So… you are flipping it? And two vaults? That’s a lot of money to launder! 🙄

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LegoSjaak January 13, 2016 at 2:50 AM

Yes, i mirrorbuilt it and made also an XL version of it. There is a whole album of pictures where you can see my BrickBank MOD from the out-and inside…!! It was a fun built!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/legosjaak/albums/72157663336571931

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admin January 13, 2016 at 2:43 PM

Looks really sweet! So you are using Excel to design your layouts? Interesting. I have never seen anyone do that. 🙂

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