It’s not unfair to say the general reception to 10326 Natural History Museum has been mixed, and one of the chief criticisms levelled at the latest modular building is its colour scheme, which resurrects a hue last seen a full decade ago in this subtheme. Some fans have called out olive green as better suited to a haunted house, describing its use for a museum as ‘inappropriate’ and ‘not doing it any [favours]’.
But few modular buildings are designed with only a single possible colour scheme in mind, and here again the design team tried out options beyond olive green to see what would work best alongside recent modular buildings. According to the set’s lead designer Chris McVeigh, there wasn’t a tonne of debate around which of those colour schemes to implement.
“It was actually three different colour schemes that we considered,” Chris tells Brick Fanatics. “We like to look at these things holistically, meaning that the museum itself doesn’t exist alone; it exists as a continuation of the modular street. So we put the three different facades next to 10312 Jazz Club and 10297 Boutique Hotel, and we determined from that which colour would actually be brought forward in the model.
“What was great about this is it was pretty much unanimous. We all agreed that the olive green just worked. It adds to the street, [and] it brought back a colour that we hadn’t done in a while – we hadn’t done olive green for a full building since 10243 Parisian Restaurant [in 2013]. Everybody was just on board with this colour scheme. So it was one of those days where I was like, ‘Well, that went well.’ So yeah, that’s how we ended up with olive green.”
While placing 10326 Natural History Museum next to 10312 Jazz Club and 10297 Boutique Hotel makes sense given those are the only other two modular buildings that will be left on shelves come January, many of us have been collecting these buildings for five, 10 or even 17 years. And though the priority might be matching the current range, the colour scheme of any new LEGO modular building still needs to fit in with the aesthetics of the entire line-up.
“We focus on the more recent ones, but more broadly speaking, we are considering the whole street,” Chris explains. “Olive green worked out to be the right colour right now because we hadn’t done it since the Parisian Restaurant. And that was factored into the decision, like the novelty of bringing back olive green. And for me, the ability to introduce parts in olive green that have never been in olive green was exciting. So yes, we’ve looked at the entire modular street, but the primary focus is the past two to four models.”
As for those other two possible colour schemes? Well, unlike Anderson Grubb for this year’s 10312 Jazz Club – which is built in dark red, but was apparently once dark blue – Chris was a little less forthcoming about what might have been. “I think maybe it’s better not to discuss some of those, just not knowing how some of those explorations may affect future products,” he deflects.
We might never know exactly which other colour schemes the LEGO Group considered for 10326 Natural History Museum, but you can see a few quick mock-ups of other potential hues by clicking here. For more insights from Chris, check out our in-person interview with the designer of the latest LEGO modular building.
- I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then.
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