Category Archives: Architecture

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation & Spoke Art Gallery To Host A Pop-Up Art Exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright: Timeless

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Spoke Art Gallery have joined forces to host a pop-up art exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright: Timeless, at Wright’s winter home and desert laboratory, Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona from June 15 – June 16.

Following the debut of the show, the exhibition will travel to Spoke Art’s sister gallery in New York, Hashimoto Contemporary, July 26 – July 28. The show will feature artistic interpretations of Wright-designed buildings and guests will have an opportunity to purchase limited-edition, hand-numbered prints starting at $50.

The show features work from over a dozen international artists, with pieces designed in the style of a 1930s-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) travel poster. Some participating artists include Steve Thomas from Minnesota, George Townley from the United Kingdom; Max Dalton from Argentina; Martin Ansin from Uruguay; Nico Delort from France; Matt Taylor from the United Kingdom; Alison King from Phoenix.

To learn more about the Spoke Art Frank Lloyd Wright show, or to purchase these limited-edition prints (after the New York show closes), visit

Art by Steve Thomas

Art by Max Dalton

Art by Rory Kurtz

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German Observatory Transformed Into A Giant R2-D2

Professor Hubert Zitt, who is known for his fascinating lectures on Star Wars, Star Trek and other science fiction, saw the perfect opportunity to put his distinctive mark on the university where he works. 

Zitt, along with his father-in-law and several helpful students, transformed the Zweibrücken Observatory of the Natural Science Association into a giant replica of R2-D2.

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McDonald’s Opened A New Flagship Restaurant In Chicago That Resembles An Apple Store

McDonald’s newest restaurant is making a bold statement about the future of the chain.

McDonald’s opened a new flagship restaurant in Chicago. It’s a glassy, 19,000-square-foot building that looks more like an Apple Store than a fast-food restaurant — and that’s exactly what the company intended.

“We are proud to open the doors to this flagship restaurant, which symbolizes how we are building a better McDonald’s for our customers and the communities where they live,” McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.

While the structure may be different, the Golden Arches are still present at the restaurant, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The restaurant features self-order kiosks, table service, mobile order and pay, and delivery — services that are becoming increasingly mainstream at McDonald’s locations across the US.

Table service and increased digital ordering options are part of McDonald’s “Experience of the Future” revamp. Currently, roughly 5,000 restaurants fit the qualifications, and McDonald’s plans to transform almost all restaurants by 2020.

The restaurant also highlights something else McDonald’s is pushing in an effort to remake its image: sustainability. It has more than 70 trees at the ground level, as well as on-site solar panels.

The restaurant was designed by the Chicago-based firm Ross Barney Architects. While not every McDonald’s is going to look quite so classy and glassy, the combination of more tech, table service, and an emphasis on sustainability provides a blueprint of what the fast-food giant wants to roll out across America.

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LEGO Architecture Statue of Liberty

Bring a symbolic centerpiece to your home or office with this LEGO Architecture interpretation of the Statue of Liberty, a perfect marriage of architecture and sculpture.

This impressive LEGO interpretation faithfully reproduces the monument’s harmonious blend of sculpture and architecture with its intricately detailed shield-lined pedestal, brick detailing and columned balconies. The beautifully crafted Lady Liberty statue features a flowing robe, broken shackles, 7-ray crown, iconic tablet and an upraised arm bearing a golden torch. Finished with an authentic sand-green and beige color scheme, and a decorative nameplate, this model delivers a highly satisfying building experience to all with an interest in architecture, travel, history and design, and makes a truly symbolic centerpiece for the home or office.

Available exclusively in New York City on May 19th at the following locations: Amazon Books, Barnes and Noble, Target, Mary Arnold Toys, LEGO Brand Retail Stores and LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

The set with be release nationwide on June 1st at, LEGO Brand Retail Stores, and other participating retail locations.


– Features an intricately detailed pedestal with shield & brick detailing, columned balconies, and a Lady Liberty statue with a flowing robe, 7-ray crown, iconic tablet and golden torch.
– Measures over 17” (44cm) high, 5” (14cm) wide and 5” (14cm) deep.
– 1,685 pieces.
– Retail price $119.99


Capitol Records Tower LEGO Set


Build a LEGO brick model of the Capitol Records Tower. Located in the heart of Hollywood at the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the uniquely round Capitol Records Tower was designed by architect Welton Becket in 1954 and was opened in 1956. It was Hollywood’s first air-conditioned high-rise office building and has always been headquarters to the famed record label founded by Johnny Mercer, home to such legendary artists as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys, and modern superstars Sam Smith and Katy Perry. The Capitol Records Tower was designated a Historical Landmark in 2008 by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission.


The Capitol Records Tower model is a limited-edition set designed by freelance LEGO artist, Adam Ward. It features over 640 genuine LEGO pieces, and is built in the style of LEGO’s popular and award-winning Architecture series. Although not an official LEGO set, this one is pretty darn cool!


The model accurately features a host of rare LEGO pieces, as well as additional accessories like five decals including the ground floor mural “Hollywood Jazz: 1945-1972” by artist Richard Wyatt Jr., and a custom 3D printed piece of the iconic spire that rises from the roof of the historic building. The set also includes transparent and translucent elements for the windows, two brick-built palm trees, stars for the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and more detail pieces to recreate the legendary tower.

The set measures 10” (25cm) tall, 7.5” (19cm) wide and 5” (13cm) deep and is anticipated to ship June 2017.

Pre-order the set HERE for $200.


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LEGO Architecture US Capitol Set


Build a LEGO brick model of one of the world’s most architecturally impressive and symbolically important structures. Located in Washington DC, the United States Capitol is a magnificent example of neoclassical architecture covering more than 1.5 million square feet and with over 600 rooms and miles of corridors.


The building that we see today is the result of several major periods of construction that have taken place since president George Washington first laid the cornerstone on September 18, 1793. This meticulously detailed LEGO Architecture interpretation of the U.S. Capitol focuses on the structure’s striking white, columned façade with its famous steps and lawns, and features a removable dome for access to a detailed interior depicting the famous National Statuary Hall, complete with columns, statues and tiled floor.

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– LEGO Architecture interpretation of the real-world architectural landmark, the United States Capitol Building.
– Features the Capitol’s neoclassical façade, dome, colonnades, north and south wings, steps and lawns.
– Remove the dome to access the rotunda, featuring columns, 8 statue elements and a tiled floor.
– The included booklet contains information about the design, architecture and history of the building
– LEGO Architecture celebrates the world of architecture through the medium of the LEGO brick, and is developed for all with an interest in travel, design, history and architecture.
– This set includes over 1,000 LEGO pieces.
– The scale of this model matches the LEGO Architecture 21022 Lincoln Memorial.
– This set offers an age-appropriate building experience for ages 12+.
– Measures over 6” (16cm) high, 17” (44cm) wide and 5” (14cm) deep.

The cost of the set is $99.99 and hits, LEGO retail stores, and participating LEGO retailers September 1st.

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LEGO Creator Big Ben 10253


Get up close to Big Ben! The clock was first started on May 31st 1859, and Big Ben’s first chime rang from the 96-meter Elizabeth Tower on July 11th of the same year. This over 23” (60cm) high LEGO interpretation of the iconic structure is a tribute to its engineering and architecture. It features a detailed facade with statues, shields and windows, and a clock tower with 4 adjustable clock dials and a removable roof allowing access to the belfry, plus buildable exterior elements including a sidewalk, lawn and a tree depicting the building’s location. This model makes a great display piece for the home or office.



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– Big Ben features a detailed section of the Westminster Palace and the adjoining Elizabeth Tower, 4 detailed clock dials with movable hour and minutes hands, and a sidewalk, tree and grass area depicting the building’s location.

– Remove the top of the tower to access the Big Ben bell.

– Put your LEGO building skills to the test!

– Special elements include 4 printed clock faces.

– Rare elements include ski poles, flowers and corner plates in molded gold color, and tinted-translucent elements.

– This set includes over 4,000 LEGO pieces.

– This set offers an age-appropriate building experience for ages 16+.

– Big Ben measures over 23” (60cm) high, 17” (44cm) wide and 7” (20cm) deep.

LEGO Creator Big Ben 10253  will be available for sale directly through LEGO beginning July 1, 2016 via, LEGO Stores or via phone for $249.99.

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The LEGO Architecture Skyline Collection

The LEGO Architecture Skyline Collection includes mini-models of some of the most famous buildings in Berlin, New York City, and Venice. Representing the Big Apple are the Flatiron Building, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty, while the German capitol is portrayed via the Reichstag, Victory Column, Deutsche Bahn Tower, Berlin TV Tower and the Brandenburg Gate. Finally, the canals of Venice shine in blue tiles, on which sit Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Campanile, St. Theodore and the Winged Lion of St. Mark, and the Bridge of Sighs.

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Check Out The First Apple Store Designed By Apple’s Design Guru Jony Ive


A new Apple Store opened last weekend in Brussels. But this is not your typical Apple Store. Located in the heart of Belgium, this building was designed by Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s design genius who ultimately controls how the company’s bestselling hardware and software looks and feels.

Apple’s cofounder Steve Jobs is famously known for partially designing many of the Apple Stores, including their signature glass staircases, Jony Ive has never designed an Apple Store until now.

The location sports a minimalist color palette, wooden benches, a curved glass facade and potted trees inside the store.

Described as simple, elegant and friendly this pioneer store features a glimpse of what we might expect to see in future Apple retail stores.

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The Rise of LEGO Architecture: What Does It Mean For The Property Market

We have seen some unusual developments in the property market over the last decade, from the rise of flat pack housing to the emergence of quick acting national home buyers who purchase homes on the brink of repossession.


The former example is particularly interesting, however, as it links a renowned brand with the development of functional, corporeal structures. This has changed the nature of architecture in the modern age, and there are similar events that have also had a significant impact in recent times.

The Emergence of LEGO Architecture

Most recently, Danish toy company LEGO made a bold move into the property market, through the establishment of the Lego Architecture Studio. This essentially represented a new generation of durable building blocks that were aimed at the architecture and design community. Packaged as a single product featuring over 1,200 pieces and 76 unique components, this studio will afford creatives an incredible level of freedom as they look to experiment and develop their own, unique structures.

Now available in the UK and Europe for the first time, has the potential to inspire an entire generation of property developers and future building designs. We have already seen examples of this, and after a successful inaugural event in 2014 LEGO Architecture is presenting a brand new opportunity for students in the Villa Pennisi in Musica summer workshop to experiment with the material to hone their craft indulge their creative urges.


More specifically, architecture students will be tasked with using their 1,200-piece monochromatic LEGO Architecture Studio sets to build scale models of various indoor structures. These will subsequently be used to amplify the acoustics of the historic Teatro Bellini of Acireale, a renowned baroque structure that was tragically destroyed by fire during the 1960’s. Having been only partially reconstructed since this sad event, the participating students will finally be challenged to figure out pertinent design solutions that will enable the theatre to function as a music hall once again.

What does this mean for future of the Property Market?

While this represents innovation at its most pronounced, we must make it clear that there is little chance of LEGO blocks being used in full-scale residential or commercial projects any time soon. This is not the point of the LEGO Architecture Studio, however, as it is being integrated to the property industry more as a learning aid than a direct building material.

It has huge potential as a facilitator of creative output and energy, however, providing the ideal medium through which the property developers of tomorrow can hone their skills, build knowledge and create forward-thinking concepts that can alter the future perception of architecture around the world.

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