Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recipe for Success

Courtesy La Boulangerie by Lego-Man-at-arms
Paris, France - (BTT) Proving there is more to the fine art of Parisian baking than just croissants and baguettes (as tasty as those may be), La Boulangerie has been whipping up a wide array of confectionery consumables for generations. Easily recognizable by its bright orange walls and elegantly trimmed windows, this little bakery plays well with its neighbor - a building which has previously graced these very pages.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Going Once, Going Twice

Courtesy Modular Auction Corner by exis-
Bidding Boulevard - (BTT) Perhaps ebay and the like are fine for those times you absolutely need a fine collectible but can't be bothered putting on pants, but there is nothing like the thrill of seeing the disappointment in everyone's faces you just outbid as you carry your loot home right then and there. This stately auction house just ups the ante, with its beautifully detailed exterior (check out those second floor windows on the left) and equally stunning interior. No word if the gorgeous chandelier is also on the auction block - bring your checkbooks, because you'll need to be outbid yours truly if you want it!

Slivers of Water

Courtesy Canal Street House by BrickCityDepot

Grachtengordel, Amsterdam - (BTT) Venice might try to hog all the attention when it comes to waterlogged European cities, but with over 100 kilometers of canals circling the city, Amsterdam is no slouch (plus it has the advantage of not currently sinking into the sea). Canal houses like the beautiful examples above have always been high on demand and higher on style - after all, who wouldn't want to say they own a place right on the water, even if that water is narrow enough to spit across. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Justice for All

Bricklyn Borough Courthouse
Courtesy Bricklyn Borough Courthouse by sonicstarlight
Judicial Row - (BTT) Few things are more satisfying in life than seeing the innocent vindicated and the guilty punished, and where better to see the drama play out than in the courtroom. Standing tall among its neighbors is the Bricklyn Borough Courthouse, ready to dispense truth, justice, and all that other good stuff. The first floor features a mosaic tiled entry lobby, large conference rooms for lawyers to negotiate (read: scream) with each other, and offices for the various clerks and support staff. Head upstairs to the second floor to find the courtroom itself and the judge's chambers.

* Full disclosure - this article's author is also the architect, so take any claim of impartiality with a grain of salt.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Educational Benefits of LEGO

You know when your head hurts after staring at a really complicated model for hours on end? Well there is something going on underneath that noggin of yours. Check out this great little timeline and list of priceless benefits we get out of our favorite hobby. Thank you for letting me know about this!

The Learning Power of LEGO
Via: Online College Advice

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Invisible Harvest

Courtesy Oxygen Farm by LUKY'S 1987 LEGO CREATIONS 
The Great Beyond - (BTT) When you think of farms, you probably picture rows of wheat and corn, maybe some cows and chickens, and quaint little houses in the middle of nowhere. No doubt farms are important for providing us endless edibles to stuff in our faces, but what needs more urgent than eating? Breathing certainly comes to mind, and thankfully these brave explorers are making sure that oxygen is always at hand (and in lung). What could have been a banal but vital addition to the foreign landscape is actually anything but thanks to some truly wonderful asymmetrical patterns on the main facades. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Grub Fiction

Big Kahuna Burger 01
Courtesy Big Kahuna Burger by Bricktron
Quentin Beach, Hawaii - (BTT) With all the burger joints out there, from the well-known fast food chains to the local restaurants with their own signature sandwich, it can be hard to stand out in the crowd. The Hawaiian-themed Big Kahuna Burger might not have the snappiest of slogans, but they sure know how to make a mean patty - it's no surprise that their food is a favorite among the Hollywood elite, especially while on the job.

Inspiration of the Day - 2/12/12

Riverview High Walkway and Court
Courtesy Riverview High School by RTC1
Sarasota, Florida - (BTT) We've covered a lot of buildings that have had near misses with the wrecking ball over these last few months, but not all buildings have been so lucky. Riverside High School was completed in 1958 by architect Paul Rudolph - that same year he was appointed Dean of the Yale School of Architecture. This example of International Style architecture became the poster child of a movement which was later dubbed Sarasota Modern. Although there were a few undesired quirks associated with the building, especially when it rained, the use of covered walkways and sunshades over the windows made this a true pioneer in the field of green architecture. Unfortunately the building was demolished in 2009, despite the best efforts of preservationists and other architects, proving that we still have a lot to learn in terms of protecting important modernist works.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fighting the Good Fight

Minifig Rights Movement - Dutch HQ
Courtesy Minifig Rights Movement - Dutch HQ by Neverroads
The Netherlands - (BTT) It seems like everyone these days is part of some group or movement out to change the world - whether or not they truly are is a matter best left to other sites. In order to be truly organized, though, you need a proper headquarters, and thankfully the Minifig Rights Movement has a real beaut. Especially nice is the large spiral staircase enveloped by a three-story bay window on the rear facade - a space as inspirational as their cause. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What's Old is New Again

Brown Brick Recycle Plant_01
Courtesy Brown Brick Recycle Plant by pabloglez
Waste Not Avenue - (BTT) While some attempts to save the planet seem a little out there, others just make perfect sense. The Brown Brick Recycle Plant has been turning our refuse into useful, wanted goods for years, long before "going green" became the fashionable thing to do. A quick tour of the factory floor shows every step of the process, from initial scrap to finished brick, while the building itself is environmentally friendly with its ample windows and well-insulated masonry.

Revisiting a Classic

town overview
Courtesy Modular Western Town by marshal banana 
The American West - (BTT) For those of you with a strong feeling of déjà vu, you have good reason - marshal banana's masterwork above has been featured on the site before. Not one to be left out on a worthy cause, I am pleased to join several other LEGO blogs in supporting this build on CUUSOO. At the time of writing, there are currently 2,600 supporters - more than a quarter way to the 10,000 needed to get the attention of LEGO with the hopes of seeing production. If you like what you see (and if you don't, what's wrong with you?) please click here and join the movement!

Accessible Accessories

LEGO Collectable Corner - Minifig Maison
Courtesy Minifig Maison by dita_svelte
Fashion District - (BTT) You've put on your pants, shirt, socks, and shoes. You've got your keys in your hand, ready to head out the door, when it strikes you - something is missing. Accessories are what truly completes an outfit, and no one has a better selection than the Minifig Maison. Inside the store is everything from stuffed bears to live monkeys, in addition to the more standard fare, while the top floor features a bachelor pad with access to the roof. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Comfy Cafe

Courtesy Europe Style Cafe by Opabinia 
Back in The Old Country - (BTT) It's hard to really pinpoint what exactly gives an old European building like the one above that certain level of charm not found here in America, but boy does this have it. On the first floor is a bustling cafe, providing a warm and inviting space to meet up with friends and enjoy some top notch nibbles. An apartment occupies the second and third floors above, currently owned by an avid collector of art and antiquities who clearly spared no expense when it came time to decorate.

Inspiration of the Day - 2/5/12

Street Castle in NY
Courtesy Jefferson Market Library by Stuck in Customs
Greenwich Village, Manhattan - (BTT) A gorgeous example of Victorian Gothic architecture, the Jefferson Market Library, designed by Frederick Clark Withers and Calvert Vaux and completed in 1877, is yet another Inspiration that is lucky to still be standing. Originally built as the Third Judicial District Courthouse, the building saw its fair share of prominent trails, including that of Harry K. Thaw for murder of architect Stanford White, who has previously been featured on this site. Abandoned in the mid 1940s, the building was set to be demolished around 1958 until it was saved by a campaign to convert it into a branch of the New York Public Library. As seen by the scaffolding around the base in the picture above, the building might need a little touch up now and again, but thankfully won't have to worry about meeting a bulldozer ever again.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Block Party

Courtesy Happy Hour Avenue by Richard van Leeuwen 
Goes, The Netherlands - (BTT) The work week is finally over and the people on this street are ready to make the most of it. Three buildings comprise the block, each unique in both form and function, and each teaming with activity. These are not just beautiful facades mind you - take a step inside the post office, apartment building, or cafe and prepare to be blown away by the level of detail found within.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Primarily Primary Pigments

Courtesy Mondrian House by Jeroen_K
Neoplasticism Avenue - (BTT) Some people are afraid of color - not in terms of their physical well-being (I hope) but certainly enough to stick to the blander hues when designing a building. Others, however, aim for something bolder. Clearly inspired by the works of artist Piet Mondrian, the architect of this house used the trademark primary colors with striking black and white backgrounds to create a dwelling worthy of display.

Annual Passes for LEGOLAND Discovery Center - Now Available!

Annual passes are now available for LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta. Here's the full scoop:


LEGO Fans Who Purchase Early Receive Early Access to the Buckhead Attraction

ATLANTA (February 1, 2012)LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta has your ticket to fun this year! Opening on March 17 in Phipps Plaza, the highly anticipated attraction has just announced Unlimited Annual Passes will be available. By visiting, guests can select a single pass for $54 or a family pass (four people) for $180 (excluding taxes). 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mint Condition

Courtesy Corner Shop & Apartments by BrickCityDepot
Muntplein Square, Amsterdam - (BTT) Having provided you with a romantic dinner suggestion previously, what about an appropriate Valentine's gift? Once again, this site has your back! Swing by the first floor jewelry store in this historic Neo-Dutch Renaissance apartment building to find that special something for that special someone. While the appeal of shiny rocks is a bit lost on this author, they seem to be a big hit with the fairer sex.