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Architecture Series Sets - Are the builds fun or kinda boring?

klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 706
I'm not interested in displaying the finished sets, but am looking at these at 25% off RRP and wondering if they will be a satisfying small build at that price? I enjoy #10230 Mini Modulars and the recent SDCC Mini Bag End (bricklinked parts.) After building the regular sets these are a fun exercise. They also have an element of whimsy and color that I don't see in the Architecture Series. What do Architecture fans think? Is it mostly about the nice book and the final display?
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Comments

  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,236
    Like any theme some are better than others. The small sets haven't been that exciting though I liked how the angle on the Opera House was achieved. I thought Fallingwater had lots of interesting parts to it.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,085
    edited August 2013
    I enjoyed building Fallingwater quite a bit. The brick selection is simple which made it more enjoyable to just stack bricks and spend less time sorting. The mini Modulars are still one of my favorite builds. The Farnsworth House wasn't much fun because of the 1x1 tiles that you have to fiddle with to keep straight. Brandenburg Gate was ok, but quick and kind of boring to build.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited August 2013
    klatu003 said:

    I'm not interested in displaying the finished sets, but am looking at these at 25% off RRP and wondering if they will be a satisfying small build at that price? I enjoy #10230 Mini Modulars and the recent SDCC Mini Bag End (bricklinked parts.) After building the regular sets these are a fun exercise. They also have an element of whimsy and color that I don't see in the Architecture Series. What do Architecture fans think? Is it mostly about the nice book and the final display?

    I find it interesting and coincidental that you list these two particular sets, given that the rarest part from the Mini Bag End http://www.brickset.com/parts/?part=4645103 is only found in the Mini Modulars.

    Anyway, if you like mini-builds, which essentially all the architecture sets are, you will probably enjoy them. Just be warned that some builds can be pretty tiresome to build, like #21010 Robie House and some might be a little too mini for some peoples' tastes like #21007 Rockefeller Center.
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    If it's an interesting build you're after, I recommend Fallingwater. I'll be a tease and not say why, as it is more fun to discover as you build!
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 732
    The answer here seems to depend on your perspective. If you are a fan of design and architecture, building any of the Architecture sets could be entertaining. You get to see how someone interprets a design into a LEGO creation. And many of us find that entertaining.

    If you require exploding missiles, cannons, weapons of any sort, etc., to be entertained, these sets may not be your slice of cake. No one is judging anyone because we all have different preferences and tastes.

    The more of these sets that my family builds, the more we enjoy the theme. But then we are fascinated by design and travel all over just to see the real buildings in person. Our family-built Taj Mahal rests in front of the blown up, poster-sized photo of my grown son doing cartwheels in front of the real Taj. Hubby spent days lighting up the interior of our Taj and then hard wiring it to a switch on the wall. Just so we can enjoy a lit up Taj at night.

    Having been a Frank Lloyd Wright fan since age ten, it is a joy to build models of any of his creations. I hope that Alvar Aalto is included soon because he is another favorite.

    So the question one needs to ask here seems to be:
    Are you a fan of design and architecture?
    pcirone
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    @legogal said- The more of these sets that my family builds, the more we enjoy the theme. But then we are fascinated by design and travel all over just to see the real buildings in person. Our family-built Taj Mahal rests in front of the blown up, poster-sized photo of my grown son doing cartwheels in front of the real Taj.

    Wow, some day for me and my son too!

    Having been a Frank Lloyd Wright fan since age ten, it is a joy to build models of any of his creations.

    Well, age 15, but yes, yes, yes.
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652

    If it's an interesting build you're after, I recommend Fallingwater. I'll be a tease and not say why, as it is more fun to discover as you build!

    This is without a doubt one of the best builds ever. It also makes for a very lovely display piece. The sleekness of this completed model lends itself to a more sophisticated style than the (forgive me) toy like models of some other Lego sets. This piece can easily be placed on display for Lego lovers and all others to admire and enjoy.



  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 706
    Thanks everyone for your thoughtful input. Sounds like everyone likes Fallingwater, but that isn't one of the small on sale ones that I was contemplating for "filler builds." But after all the praise (and tease @caperberry) it might have to go on the buy list.
    @Matt

    I find it interesting and coincidental that you list these two particular sets, given that the rarest part from the Mini Bag End http://www.brickset.com/parts/?part=4645103 is only found in the Mini Modulars.
    Yeah, I did Rebrickable for the mini BagEnd and had all the parts, but after a frustrating experience borrowing parts from sets and then taking forever to find them again, I'd rather duplicate. Found a seller that had almost everything including the rare part and it was around $15, which wasn't bad compared to $39 from SDCC or $80 -$100 from ebay. I don't collect pretty Lego boxes. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    @Legogal
    LOL. No I don't need those things that have the "don't poke out your eye" warning on the page for entertainment. Your Taj Mahal with personalized family mementos is fantastic! Traveling with a semi-collecting goal is a fun organizing principle. (I do want that Taj Mahal, but think it has gotten of my price range.) I was not familiar with Alvar Aalto, so thanks for making me google him.
    Am I a fan of design and architecture? Visually, rather than structurally I think. Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família or Saint Basil's Cathedral are designs that would excite me in Lego -- and I like LoTR, fantasy bias perhaps?
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 732
    Yup, Sagrada has been on our list for a long time. Gaudi was just amazing...period. Our son became a huge fan of his while studying in Spain, and has not quit talking about him every chance he can work it into the conversation. It is delightful watching your offspring pick up some of your interests.

    About five years ago I realized that I had spent a night in a FLW home with the Kinney family in Amarillo, Texas as a twelve year old during a swim meet with their three daughters in the 1960's. It was one of the last FLW homes built, and I remember being inspired by the design. Saw it listed in a book at Barnes & Noble and almost fell over from shock! FLW was not as well known by the general public back then, but his career picked up a lot of steam after his death. Wish I had the plans to the Kinney house as I would build it in dark red...the stone was lovely, and the design was breathtaking.
  • Gavin83Gavin83 Member Posts: 250
    I'm very much into travel as well and have seen all the large scale buildings in person, the Taj Mahal was definately one of my favourites. Extremely impressive in the flesh and well worth a visit.

    India itself certainly isn't for everyone though.
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,158
    edited August 2013
    ^ Me too, I am actually in the process of acquiring the Architecture sets as a "souvenir" of places that I've seen. If I haven't seen it, I won't get that particular set... makes it a double incentive, to get out there and see places AND to collect more Lego :)
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 732
    @khmellymel that is a fantastic strategy!
    Wow! Reward yourself with another Architecture set after visiting that particular site. Travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, so you are on the right track.

    If anyone is debating whether to spend their limited funds on travel to an interesting place or buy something else for the house, please consider trying the first option often enough to see how well it can work. Your house can wait and probably needs less clutter any way. Just my two cents worth!
    FollowsClosely
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,085
    In most cases, unfortunately it's cheaper to just build the Lego set than to visit.
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    ^Maybe, but have you seen the prices on #10189 lately? It just might be cheaper to go to India rather than to buy that set now!
    vitreolumCoolsplashkhmellymel
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 706
    I took the plunge on Fallingwater. The build was a tad tedious and when it was complete the Dead men of Dunharrow moved in. Looking at the real thing, I am wondering why the house was done all in one color. The Chinese puzzle box aspect was intriguing.
    image
    vitreolumdmg111Dougoutcatwrangler
  • AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,287
    If these sets were 50% off I will make a move :)
  • richselbyrichselby Member Posts: 80
    I know I'm late to the party, but I would suggest Imperial Hotel as an anything-but-boring build. The pleasure is in the build techniques, the finished model, but not (obviously) play features.
  • red237red237 Member Posts: 221
    I have to agree...the Imperial Hotel has some unique build techniques, especially the windows, and my five year old who is truly amazing with Lego has it and Fallingwater on display, much more proud of completing them than anything with 'playable' parts.
    margot
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    Coincidentally, I just built Fallingwater on Sunday, and I found the build painfully boring....
    The part that bored me the most was building the main building "insert" with all the 1x2 clears, and the 1x2 and 1x3 tans...
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 732
    RIch, We agree that the Imperial Hotel really stands out. It appears to be in a class of its own with such a lovely design. It just seems to flow.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,085

    Coincidentally, I just built Fallingwater on Sunday, and I found the build painfully boring....
    The part that bored me the most was building the main building "insert" with all the 1x2 clears, and the 1x2 and 1x3 tans...

    I think it depends on what you're looking for. I found Fallingwater to be enjoyable. Because it uses so many of the same parts you don't have to spend a bunch of time sorting and looking for pieces. For me it made for a more zen like building experience.
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    ^ @mathew said: I think it depends on what you're looking for. I found Fallingwater to be enjoyable. Because it uses so many of the same parts you don't have to spend a bunch of time sorting and looking for pieces. For me it made for a more zen like building experience.

    Yes, this exactely! Not to mention it looks lovely on display as well.

    Also, if you are looking for a zen like experience, #21050 Architecture Studio is perfect for this.
  • mcvitiemcvitie Sheffield, EnglandMember Posts: 291
    I built my first Architecture set - UN HQ - over Christmas and must say after my initial reservations for theme found it to be one of my most enjoyable builds of the year
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    There's no doubt that Fallingwater looks great... I just don't find much satisfaction in using the same piece 300 times in a row.

    Part of the enjoyment for me is, believe it or not, struggling to find the next piece. :)
  • BulkheadXBulkheadX Member Posts: 74
    I kind of liked building fallingwater... seeing how the cantilevers were arranged and how the building went together at the end was a great experience.

    but then I had an interest in Architecture prior to starting to acquire Lego Arch sets a couple years ago. Arch sets were my gateway drug to this addiction and now I have a 'few' other sets beyond that series. I would love bigger scale architecture buildings but I acknowledge I am probably in the minority in that regard lol... it will probably force me into my first MOC build one of these days though rofl
  • BulkheadXBulkheadX Member Posts: 74
    ps. I HATE stuggling to find a piece... I much prefer the build over the struggle ;D lol
  • richselbyrichselby Member Posts: 80
    I have a Robie House in my cupboard, yet to build. I've been holding off on that one, because, well, it looks less than exciting to build. Although lovely when completed.
    BTHodgeman
  • tylerawalterstylerawalters Member Posts: 3
    mcvitie said:

    I built my first Architecture set - UN HQ - over Christmas and must say after my initial reservations for theme found it to be one of my most enjoyable builds of the year

    I have to say I agree on this one. I was really hesitant about the model when I saw pictures, but I think it was really well executed, had interesting technique, and may have even taught me something about building.
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 187
    I have enjoyed all of the architecture sets I've built so far, as well as the (sadly already discontinued) Architecture Studio set. Naturally, some of the models are more attractive than others, and some are more fun to build than others.

    To make the building process more interesting, I try to build each model without using the instructions. (Puzzle build) This may be one of the reasons why I find even the small and simple models to be fun to build.

    My favorite models to build have been the midsized sets: White House was #1. Big Ben #2, Sungmuyen #3. (I am 1/2 way through puzzle build of the UN building and I'm really enjoying it too, likely going to take my #2 spot.)

    I think both Guggenheim and Rockefeller center are the poorest-looking models, and I found them awkward to build puzzle-style. (They did not employ any interesting building techniques either - both feel sloppily constructed.)

    The initial buildings are all simple builds and look good. Sears tower, Empire State, Hancock. (Empire is the best of the three.)

    I have not built the following but have some initial impressions:
    Robie house - too big to build puzzle-style, and looks a bit repetitive with 100s of 1x2 red plates. Finished model is attractive though.
    Farnsworth House - looks like a fun build and I hope to try it soon, looks puzzleable.
    the small Sydney Opera House also looks awkward to build and isn't attractive.
    Burj Khalifa just looks boring to build and boring on the shelf.
    Fallingwater looks like a somewhat ugly model to me, but I do want to build it.
    Villa Savoye looks like a nice model, but I'm not as excited about it as some of the others.

    Sincerely,
    ---tom


    P.S. Last month I did a 30-day Lego challenge inspired by the Architecture studio set. Check it out if you are interested at http://tomalphin.com/2013/10/lego-architecture-studio-30-day-challenge.html (I hope to do a new article with a brief review of each of the Architecture sets sometime soon.)

  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,085
    Farnsworth is not terribly fun due to the tweaky nature of the 1x1 tiles. I'm a fan of the house itself. This was the first set that really got me interested in Lego and architecture.

    Everyone seems to be a fan of the UN building so I may have to purchase that one next.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 782
    I've only built the White House but I really enjoyed it. I remember being surprised at the building technique used to create the columns and/or windows, I think.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^Same here on the WH. Thought it was an excellent build.
  • LosimagicLosimagic UKMember Posts: 397
    I love collecting the ones that I've visited. They're nice mementos.
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    I just built UN HQ too and wholly agree. Probably good for those on the fence about the Architecture line as its not too big, not to small, interesting snot work, minor repetition.

    I've a lot of love for Fallingwater, although some complain of repetitive plate stacking. The finished model actually has a kind of play feature, or rather, something that wows people when you show them. For the best experience, don't look at the back of the box; just build it and enjoy the surprise.
  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 341
    Somehow I had the tendency to absolutely through the architecture series even if i pass by them 10 times in the store. On a recent visit to our parents home in another city my wife suggested we pick a mid sized ( 2hr)set to build after dinner ,with coffee and junk late night a couple days before new years eve

    Going through the isles at the store we picked aviation adventure 31011 and even considered the space center (With the rocket ). It was then my wife brings this architecture "white house " over and suggests we could build that as it has some significance to my occupation and i blinked and realised and there it just hit me ... Why not .... it is after all Lego , how bad can it be ?

    Anyway we just finished the White House a few hours back today and I have to report it was a very different building experience .. I thoroughly enjoyed it .. It looks very respectable and professional and will sit on my office desk with pride. There is something very charming about the build and the final display. Agree with the unique column building technique.

    I would say those who enjoyed the mini modular set , may enjoy these much more .
    I am almost embarrassed I ignored this series for 2 years and to make up , I purchased these the very next day after finishing half of the WH.

    Falling Water
    Villa Savoy
    Farsworth House
    Burj Khalifa

    I plan to build Farsworth next . Falling water will be kept for a long weekend.
    margot
  • ajm390ajm390 Nelsons own CountyMember Posts: 34
    I've got Big Ben, Villa Savoye & the UN so far. Of those I have to say that Villa Savoye is my favourite closely followed by the UN. Slightly off topic I've also noticed that some of the early sets appear to be available on Tesco.com online shop. May be worth a look
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 732
    richselby said:

    I have a Robie House in my cupboard, yet to build. I've been holding off on that one, because, well, it looks less than exciting to build. Although lovely when completed.

    While parts of the Robie House could be considered tedious to build, it was fascinating to see how they designed the windows using rows of 1 by 1 clear plates. Very pleased with the build, but I am a huge FLW fan. This house has a lot of personality and does a good job of communicating the openness of his Prairie style.
  • gregoryrichardsgregoryrichards Member Posts: 10
    Obviously some sets are better than others to build but I enjoy them as it involves two of my favorite things lego and architecture. I am looking forward to trevi fountain next have put the money aside for this day one purchase. I could have got Marina Bay Sands but I decided not to as I don't think the set looks nice. I think the building will look better in person if I ever see it.
  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 341
    Isn't she lovely .. isn't she wonderful ...
  • talostalos Member Posts: 49
    I just finished the Imperial Hotel, I am a FLW fan too. I have it next to the Robie House, and it looks tiny there, the scale is a lot smaller, even though the hotel is much larger in real life. That was a bit of a disappointment. I enjoyed building both though. The Robie House was a bit tedious, since is uses only the small flat bricks, to give the brick effect.
  • MorkManMorkMan Phoenix, Arizona, USAMember Posts: 771
    Burj Khalifa just looks boring to build and boring on the shelf.
    We got Burj Khalifa from Pleygo (@noobi) a few weeks ago. It was built in less than ten minutes. I'm glad I built it, just for the sheer quickness of it, but was extremely underwhelmed. We boxed it back up immediately and put it in the mail the same day for return (thanks Pleygo). Needless to say, it turned me off. I have the White House sealed upstairs. Just not feeling it with Architecture.
    image
  • Bluefairy_56Bluefairy_56 Member Posts: 320
    I agree some of them are very small, with few parts. You get the idea of what they are supposed to be, but I don't have any intention of building some of them.

    I built the Big Ben, which I enjoyed. I didn't find it tedious to do like others said. But I just like it for what it is. I have now bought The Leaning. Tower of Pisa so I'll see what that is like. I'd like to build some of the bigger sets, but I'd rather buy the modulars instead.

    The other ones don't appeal to me much, so I won't be getting them.
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 187
    edited April 2014
    I looked at the Lego sets under 50$ in depth in a recent post on my blog.

    image
    Some of my favorite Architecture sets under 50$

    LINK: tomalphin.com/2014/03/top-5-lego-architecture-sets.html

    Thanks,
    ---tom
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 732
    Have to say that I own most of them and have found positive things about each one. They vary quite a bit which us wonderful. None are like the others, and each set has a different flavor. It us fine with me that some are quite small and quickly built. It seems to me that the point of this theme us to help us see how unique many famous buildings there are. I love glancing at all dozen or so built models on the shelf. (Big Ben and Sydney OH are too large for my shelf, so I did not get them.) And the lovely books are just outstanding. What an fantastic theme!
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    @MorkMan Sadly, the Burj Khalifa is the simplest and most boring build, imho, of all the Architecture sets. I'm sorry it has turned you off this line. From the perspective of what the sets represent, I love the Architecture sets, but if an exciting build is the goal, one's money can be better spent on other lines.
  • MorkManMorkMan Phoenix, Arizona, USAMember Posts: 771
    @AFFOL_Shellz_Bellz‌ I'm not going to completely give up... I've still got the WH sitting on my dresser. I'm just happy I didn't "pay" for the BK build. It was the only Architecture set that was delivered to us during our Pleygo (@noobi) membership. They have others, and I had them all in my queue, but I never got any but the BK.
    AFFOL_Shellz_Bellz
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 187
    Try the White House or UN Headquarters before you give up :-). UN Headquarters seems to consistently get the highest reviews for a set under 50$.
  • shawn_lowshawn_low Member Posts: 27
    For non-licensed sets, the Architecture series doesn't give you bang for (piece count) buck. Sure, the production values are lavish: historical booklet, thicker paper stock on manual, classy box.

    The smaller builds (Seattle Space Needle, Rockefeller Centre and similar sized boxes) can be done in 10 minutes...making it more of a cool office display than something for the 'build'.

    The bigger builds can be challenging and fun (though not all are fun). It all depends on what you are after. Are you interested in learning new building techniques? Do you want a cool looking model to display (not the for OP)? Are you an architecture buff? Do you want to torture yourself aligning 1 x 1 tiles?

    PS: I own most of the sets. I'm a fan.
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 187
    shawn_low said:

    Do you want to torture yourself aligning 1 x 1 tiles?

    Oh farnsworth house... And Villa Savoye too :-)
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,593
    1x1 tiles are now presents in many sets, like #10229 or #10243.
    My top 3 architecture sets under $50 are #21019 Eiffel Tower, #21018 UN Building and #21006 WH
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