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LEGO Architecture Series – Imperial Hotel

The newest addition of the LEGO Architecture sets has been revealed thanks to the French LEGO fan-site HothBricks.com, the #21017 LEGO Architecture Imperial Hotel. This is the 18th LEGO Architecture set in the series, first launched back in 2008. Each set is a miniature replica of a famous building – presented beautifully in a sleek black box, with a full color glossy brochure that includes not just building instructions for the model, but also the story of the building and the architect behind it. The LEGO Architecture series continues to be popular with fans of fine architecture and collectors, as the sets make beautiful display-pieces.

The #21017 LEGO Architecture Imperial Hotel is based on a Frank Lloyd Wright building in Tokyo, Japan, built between 1915 and 1923. The Japanese aristocracy wanted to create a hotel for the increasing number of Western visitors. One hotel was built, but after about 25 years it was considered too small and outdated, so the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright was hired to build a new hotel to accommodate all the guests.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Imperial Hotel in the “Maya Revival Style” of architecture, with a tall, pyramid-like structure, and loosely copied Maya motifs in its decorations. The main building materials are poured concrete, concrete block, and carved oya-stone. The visual effect of the hotel was stunning and dramatic, and – interestingly – it fit right into the Japanese environment.

The Imperial Hotel survived two earthquakes and Word War II, but it eventually slipped into decay. In a controversial decision, it was decided to demolish the old hotel and replace it with a (terribly ugly) high-rise structure. While most of Wright’s building was destroyed, the iconic central lobby wing and the reflecting pool were disassembled and rebuilt at The Museum Meiji Mura, where they are open to the public.

The LEGO Architecture Imperial Hotel only depicts the remaining part of the whole structure, but it still reflects its original majestic beauty. The set is full of interesting building techniques and elements in rare colors, so it should be fun to build for any LEGO Architecture fan. The set come with 1,188 pieces and should be around $100. Actual release that is not yet known. 

Below are a few more pictures to show you the details:

If you are interested in the currently available LEGO Architecture sets you can check out the Online LEGO Shop. Last time I checked 15 sets of the series were available: See LEGO Architecture Series Here

So what do you think? How do you like this new addition to the LEGO Architecture Series? Do you collect the Architecture sets? My dad does, but he is an architect, so that’s just expected. For myself I’m excited about some of the new elements, like those sand-green corner slopes. Yum! What about you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below! 🙂

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

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Nace10 January 2, 2013, 10:06 AM

    Cool! Would be very nice to display!

  • The Yellow Ninja January 2, 2013, 10:23 AM

    Wow! This looks amazing! I am actually a big fan of the architecture line, and this looks like an amazing addition to the architecture line.

    • Nace10 January 2, 2013, 10:25 AM

      I don’t have any sets, but the series is really detailed and awesome!

  • Legoman640 January 2, 2013, 10:47 AM

    Awesome! By the way Nace,do you have a Lego ID? Seems like everybody has one! 😉

  • tgb.legoguy January 2, 2013, 11:10 AM

    I’ve never got the architecture sets. They’re kind of small and expensive! Also don’t those sand green corner slopes come in lego Harry Potter?

    • admin January 2, 2013, 11:42 AM

      The architecture sets may seem expensive, however they are not catering to the generic LEGO fan crowd who considers any set with a price/piece ratio over 10 cents expensive (actually some of them go barely over that and very much in line with other set prices). As I mentioned in the post, each of the sets come in a sleek box, and the brochures that comes with the sets are gorgeous. That costs money to design and print. The sets are obviously for collectors, and those who appreciate the cleverness of the building techniques and the fine presentation.

      My dad, who is an architect, collects them; not just because they look good in his office, but he also appreciated the iconic structures in mini form, the angles, the pieces used, and the techniques. In fact he said they inspire him in his work. He regularly uses LEGO for his models. I don’t buy the architecture sets myself because they don’t fit with my building style, but I do appreciate them because LEGO and architecture goes so well together and the sets do look beautiful. 🙂

      As far as the sand-green slopes, yes, actually they do appear on HP! In Hagrid’s Hut, if I remember correctly. I forgot about that set! 😳

      • Håkan January 2, 2013, 12:06 PM

        I thought the price was partly due to the sets containing a lot of small pieces. I.e. they’re containing about as many pieces as a larger set, but on average, each piece is less than half the size as a general standard piece.

        • Håkan January 2, 2013, 12:09 PM

          Btw, I remember Lego constructed Modulex bricks in the 60s, a system which was aimed at architects, around half the size at general Lego, and not compatible with it. (I have about 50 bricks somewhere, which my father picked up from somewhere.)

          • admin January 2, 2013, 12:42 PM

            Hakan, yeah, Modules is awesome! I have a whole collection of Modulex bricks. I love them! They are so tiny! And the colors are great! Their ratios are more appropriate for architects then regular LEGO. I have been meaning to write a post about Modulex and where to get them. Modulex still have a number of fans. 🙂

            • Håkan January 2, 2013, 3:07 PM

              Wasn’t there a post somewhere about Modulex already?

              I built a sort of bulky robot since that was the easiest think I could accomplish with my bricks…

              • admin January 2, 2013, 3:55 PM

                Maxx mentioned Modulex in his post about LEGO Bayer Test-Strikes, but there has been no full focus on Modulex. I would really like to do it though as anyone who has ever come accross Modulex LEGO bricks fell in love with them. I have a collection of 2×2 bricks in all Modulex colors (most with the LEGO logo, some with the M logo), and also have a bunch of loose bricks. Lots of tan, so I tend to build little castles. Something for my LEGO minifigs to play with. I will have to try out your robot idea too though! 😉

    • obi-wanfan2282 January 2, 2013, 12:09 PM

      Yeah. I’ve never got any either. I just look at them and scoff at the prices. 😛 😛

  • Andy at www.smallplasticbricks.com January 2, 2013, 12:42 PM

    These are definitely more for collectors – perhaps those who aren’t AFOLs, but who are architect buffs. It does seem like the sets are very overpriced (Lego is a costly hobby any way!). Because they are built with small pieces, most AFOLs could probably build these from spare parts from sets any way. But it’s good that TLG is trying to appeal to many groups. I think this set is very nice, and it looks pretty big for an Architecture set.

  • gid617 January 2, 2013, 5:27 PM

    I really never was that much of a fan of tan buildings with green roofs, and the Architecture Series in general doesn’t apeal to me as much because (though I am interested in architecture) I’m not interested in keeping a model built. I do think part of the price is the size of the pieces; small parts are really quite valuable and besides not all the Architecture sets are far from the “golden” 10 piece per dollar ratio… though after all that’s really not so hard and fast a rule if you ask me. Usually there are a couple Architecture sets on my Wish list but on the bottom – one reason I don’t have any yet…
    This particular one is pretty neat, though it might have been nicer I think with dark red bricks and a grey roof. Never really was a fan of the sand green color – though tan is right up my alley I’d prefer dark red. All the light grey is nice though…

  • Frank January 3, 2013, 10:54 AM

    Why do they always come out with the cool sets AFTER christmas?

    • admin January 3, 2013, 1:04 PM

      Frank, that is a question I have been asking for years, but it is a fact. They do it every year! 😕

  • Julian July 22, 2013, 1:56 PM

    I know this is late to add to the conversation by six months, but I was thinking of buying the White House architecture, measured the size of it with a tape measure, its piddley small, if the product was twice the size I probably would have purchased it. Can you buy two of one and put them together therefore doubling the size?

    • admin July 22, 2013, 2:08 PM

      Julian, yeah, the Architecture sets are quite small. I guess you could get two and make it bigger, but please note that this is a micro-scale building, so the elements used (like the columns) are specifically chosen for this scale.

      I think you would come ahead of just designing your own set and buying the exact parts you would need for a larger scale. You can use LDD (LEGO Digital Designer), a free program for designing anything in LEGO. It’s a very robust program, but easy to use as it was made with kids in mind.

      On the other hand, if you are planning to make your White House just a bit larger than the official set, you would benefit from buying the set as you would learn about the design and get some ideas about the buildings blue-print etc. Then, if you want you can expand it a bit you can buy exra parts directly from LEGO or from Bricklink. 😉

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