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LEGO Architecture Studio hands-on review

(Written by William)

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who have been interested in figuring out what the #21050 LEGO Architecture Studio set experience is like. We have published an article before on this set (see: LEGO Architecture Studio Set Review), but when I first heard about LEGO Architecture Studio I couldn’t fully grasp what exactly to expect from it. However since I love LEGO Architecture I bought it not too long after it came out and had time to experiment with it. In this article I will hopefully be able to give you a more in-depth look at what this set is all about, and what it is like to build with it. And I would also recommend that you read the other article for getting the best understanding on this set. 🙂

#21050 LEGO Architecture Studio


After first hearing about the LEGO Architecture Studio set I was sort of expecting a step-by-step guide on various architectural features. I was imagining that perhaps there would be a section on columns and their various applications, or the book might cover architectural styles through the course of human history. That is far from what LEGO Architecture Studio is about. Below I will show you why…

LEGO Architecture Studio Review


This set is actually an introduction into the architectural process. It gives you an idea on how the minds of some of world’s most famous architects work. LEGO Architecture Studio is not a set full of instructions, rather it has a number of hands-on exercises to help you think like an architect. To show you what I mean by this I will give you some examples that I worked on using the first exercise in the book.

LEGO Architecture Studio Content


Before showing you my two examples I should explain what is going on. The book included in the LEGO Architecture Studio set tells us that many great architects ground their designs in very basic geometric shapes. Therefore when you begin a new design it is recommended that you start with a concept or basic object that you can roughly build and get a sense of its rudimentary structure. For my examples I built a couch and a window. These basic shapes are considered an abstraction. The only characteristics that are important are the features that let you think of the original object.

LEGO Architecture Studio - Example 1

The next step involves defining the shape a bit more. The book suggests that you try to define the shape multiple times and ways before settling on the one you like the most. Here are the redefined couch and window I went with.

LEGO Architecture Studio - Example 2

Finally, with your redefined shape you can now imagine it as a building. This is where the included LEGO window elements and additional shapes come into play for more detailed work. Below are my buildings that I created from my redefined objects. Note how you can still see the new details that I kept or re-imagined from step to step.

LEGO Architecture Studio - Example 3


So this is essentially how this set works; it will discuss a concept like abstract geometric shapes that exist underneath a building’s design, and then gives you an assignment to practice the concept. The book’s example for the abstraction lesson was a bird which turned out to look like a very odd building. Needless to say it got the point across and allowed me to experiment with my own ideas.

It’s also important to note that I made the couch before the window. You may observe that the window has a bit more complex starting shape than the couch. The book does not force you to do this, but I wanted to see if the same principles would apply even if I started out with more advanced LEGO building techniques. Judging by my results they seem to do just that. So no matter what your LEGO building skill level is, you can scale the challenge of the exercise to any point you feel comfortable with.

Hopefully by running through the first example in the book you have a better understanding of what to expect from the LEGO Architecture Studio set. I would say that this set is highly geared towards those with a keen interest in architecture; students, teachers, designers, etc. Make sure that this is the case with you before committing to buying LEGO Architecture Studio, as it is this type of person who would get the most out of it. 😉

If you are interested in the #21050 LEGO Architecture Studio set, or other LEGO Architecture sets, they are available at the Online LEGO Shop as well as at Barnes & Noble Online Shop (just click on the links to get there).

Shop for LEGO Architecture Sets

So what do you think? How do you like the LEGO Architecture Studio set? What do you think of the concept? Is this a set you are planning to get? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below! 😉

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

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • ninja of stealth September 9, 2013, 12:10 PM

    nice post! this stuff is pretty cool.

  • Chi-bacca September 9, 2013, 1:49 PM

    I like all the architecture stuff but its not really my taste and is a little expensive but still really cool 😀

    • admin September 9, 2013, 2:01 PM

      Yes, the LEGO Architecture Studio set is meant for teachers, students, and those who really like architecture and design. It is a really unique set, with an interesting concept, catering for a very specific niche. 😉

      • Chi-bacca September 9, 2013, 4:01 PM

        Totally agree with you 😀
        Off topic but I’ve just emailed LEGO and asked what the requirements are to become a designer which is what I really want to be as I’m good at IT and building LEGO models is the only art I’m good at or that I’ve discovered in my thirteen years of life 🙂 just waiting an answer. thought you guys would be interested to hear this 😀

        • admin September 9, 2013, 6:57 PM

          Now that is very interesting! It would make a great article! I’m sure a lot of people would be interested to know! My brother actually applied to work for LEGO, but the only positions available were low-paying. He has four kids, so he needed something more. He was told that LEGO doesn’t have any strict rules on what degree you need to get to become a designer; some come from a design background, some engeneering, some from various fields of art or architecture.

          Also, a few years back I was in touch with a teen who did become a LEGO designer. (I wrote about him in the post on the new Palace Cinema Modular Building set.) In his case it was all about his awesome LEGO models he shared on Flickr. He applied for a LEGO internship, got accepted, had to move to Billund from the USA, and after the internship started to design LEGO sets.

          Anyhow, keep us posted on what they say! 😉

          • Chi-bacca September 10, 2013, 2:41 AM

            Will do 😀
            I think I’ve read that post but I’m not sure…..

            • Håkan September 10, 2013, 4:35 AM

              That sounds like a good way to go about it, but it requires a lot of hard work, and the competition is extremely high.

              I think there are AFOL:s who make cash by building dioramas for toy stores and such, however (although it doesn’t seem easy to sustain yourself permanently on that).

              • admin September 10, 2013, 9:02 AM

                Actually, now that you mention that, yes, that is another option; becoming a LEGO model builder. They are actually always very busy as hey are always working on very large models for LEGOLAND Parks, stores, displays, etc. I think there is still a LEGO model building workshop in California, and maybe now in Florida as well. Mariann Asanuma would be a good person to ask as she is a former LEGO model builder from California, and still very active getting commissioned jobs. I think that’s all that she does, so it seems to be working out for her allright. If you guys want I can ask her. 😉

                • Chi-bacca September 10, 2013, 10:39 AM

                  Yeah I want to be a designer as that’s probably my top job but a model builder at LEGOLAND Windsor would be my second as I don’t have to fly away from the UK but I am prepared to do that if it means following my dream. I have so many ideas but not the required pieces…….
                  You can ask her if you want 😀

                  • admin September 10, 2013, 11:22 AM

                    Okay, I will ask her when I have a chance. 🙂

  • Will September 11, 2013, 11:46 PM

    I met her about a year back. Her side job when not doing commission work involved a bit of arts and craft work. She made LEGO jewelry, T-shirts, keychains, etc.

    When we asked her about her commission work she said a single piece often involves thousands of pieces which is about what she charges. Great work if you can get it.

    I also recall an old job anouncement some years back for LEGO designers. From the advert, it looked as though they really liked those applying to be familiar with software commonly used by architects.

    I’d definitely suggest the use of programs like LDD and LDraw to become familiar with expressing your work digitally. Which when you think about it would give you an infinite amount of pieces to work with.

    No matter what you do, it may be a good idea to create a portfolio of the models you are proud of and that can showcase your ability.

    One key to a good portfolio is organization and variety. So maybe tackle some of the big genre lines like Castle, City, etc. Then have sections on your own topics.

    Good luck!

  • The Green Ninja Master October 12, 2013, 7:37 PM


  • olivia November 13, 2013, 9:48 PM

    I stumbled into the LEGO architecture studio set last night somehow, and I can’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner! I’m a college student in the fashion field, but I’ve always been interested in architecture and even had a few moments recently where I regretted not doing it. I can’t wait to buy this set,I just wish it was a little cheaper. This, and maybe sketching, will be the extent of my architect abilities.

    Thanks for the informative post!!

    • admin November 13, 2013, 10:43 PM

      Olivia, thanks for sharing. Let us know how you like the set once you had a chance to try it out. Maybe Santa will bring you one? 😉

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