How to solve the LEGO Modular back access problem

I love the modulars and slowly building a modular city, I’m doing this by using official sets, 3rd party sets and my own creations. Regular visitors to Brick Fanatics will know I’ve Bricklinked retired set Café Corner and also modified it to include a full blown coffee shop on the ground floor.

I’ve pretty much got my layout sorted with roads being 16×32 stud baseplates and using tiles to create the look, my only issue is access to the backs. The backs of modulars are really good with plenty of details and play features but if you put them back to back you lose a lot with no actual access, most of good detail hidden and for buildings like the Fire Station you can’t access the rear doors. So I decided to have a 16×32 baseplate at the back of the buildings, half would be given over to an 8/10 stud alleyway for vehicles and access from the street, the other space would allow buildings to have gardens and more interesting features. I will cover what each building will have when I get round to each one.

However before I could start planning what each building modifications, I had the issue of the gap. The first alleyway for me would be between Café Corner and the Grand Emporium, with around 8 studs given over to the road it left me with a gap of 8 studs. I considered the following options;

  • Build an 8 stud wide building
  • Extend one of the buildings.
  • Leave it as a gap and add minor details, such as a hotdog vendor, trees, benches etc

At first I decided to modify the Creator Toy & Grocery Shop into a Modular building, while it looked ok, I wasn’t 100% happy the width, it just for me didn’t look right.  Here is the LDD concept:

Toy Shop Toy Shop1

I then left it over Xmas and came back to it recently and decided to do something a little different. I decided to extend the Grand Emporium by 6 studs firstly, this was the easiest job with the building, the interior space was used by a 2nd escaltor so one going up and one going down. I even designed a 2nd billboard for the roof, here is the LDD concept;

Grand Emporium Extension

That left me with 10 studs. So using the modular Fire Brigade set as a template I designed a through road and then built over it, using the Café Corner as the theme, the bottom was simply a tunnel but kept the modular rules so it actually connects to the Café Corner, the middle floor and roof have an open door and it meant modifiying the actual modular so I could access the extension. Again it’s better to see the concept designs;

Cafe Corner Extension

Cafe Corner Extension Complete

Here it is with the space covered by the building extensions, I think you will agree it looks pretty darn good?

Cafe Corner and Grand Emporium Extension Cafe Corner and Grand Emporium Extension1


I’ve already begun work on the Grand Emporium side, with the only expensive elements being the dark green window frames, I will post a follow up images of the completed buildings shortly. As these are only concepts, I aim to make tweaks as I build as sometimes things look differently when you built for real

What do you think? does it work for you, do you want more images. Feel free to ask questions etc.






  1. KovJonas

    Wow, Rich, I like your plans, can’t wait to see the extended modulars and your city. My plans with my modulars are to make a 48 stud wide and maybe 96 stud long parking or a playground behind them. 🙂

  2. Keith

    I wish I had the time to do this –

    I am in the middle of my book to build project which is all stock modulars and have three yet to build!

    One day I will get around to creating a MOC……………..but not just yet!

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