I’m still working my way through the pile of books from upcoming publications by No Starch Press. The latest title I am going to review is by Tom Alphin which is out in the UK on the 30th of September. Tom is a User Experience Program Manager at Microsoft where he explores new features, figures out how they should work, and ensures they are high quality.
This book should be on all Architecture fans’ ‘must buy’ list. It has history, inspiration, instructions and more. Now I am a recent convert to the Architecture theme, my own collection is slowly growing and I’m yet to find a build I’ve not enjoyed, so when this dropped through my letter box I knew it was a book I would enjoy. Read the rest of my review to see what I thought.
Travel through the history of architecture in The LEGO Architect. You’ll learn about styles like Art Deco, Modernism, and High-Tech, and find inspiration in galleries of LEGO models. Then take your turn building 12 models in a variety of styles. Snap together some bricks and learn architecture the fun way!
This hardback book opens up with 8 monochrome photos of LEGO buildings in white and straight away I found the images inspiring. The pages are top quality with a smooth texture. The book is split up with a preface and brief history, followed by 7 different types of architecture such as Neoclassical and Art Deco, then rounded off with a builder’s guide.
Each section has stunning photography of buildings relating to that theme, for example in the Neoclassical section you have photos of The Rotunda, White House and Arc De Triomphe while Tom explains about the type of architecture. In addition, the sides of the pages have snippets of helpful tips including building materials, what elements to use and what colours would fit best when creating buildings in the theme style.
We are then treated to LEGO models that have been built in that theme, so sticking with the Neoclassical section, we see images of the New York Stock Exchange by Sean Kenny and the Royal Albert Hall by Phil Raines to name but a few. Some of the models look like a set you would buy off the shelf – they are that good!
But, that’s not all. Tom also allows us to have a go at that style of building with a parts list and instructions to build a small model. The instructions are on a light grey background with the build in white. The instructions are highly detailed and very clear to follow. The main 7 chapters follows the same format of real life photographs of buildings with fascinating text by Tom to go with the images. This is then followed by LEGO models in that architecture type with the chance to have a go at building one yourself.
I love that he has covered so many different types of architecture as there is something for everyone. I don’t know what I liked more – the excellent written parts by Tom that I found very interesting and learnt loads, or the awesome LEGO models that fill this book. Finally, just when you thought the book had given us everything, the last section of the Builder’s guide is an excellent finish with concept designs, how to get both minifigure and micro-scale, and even more.
I seriously recommend this book to anyone who has a passion for not only the Architecture sets but who likes to build their own buildings – whether that’s small micro-scale models to full blown modulars. For me this is one of my favourite books of the year. I hope Tom does a follow-up based on other structures such as tunnels, bridges etc.