Lego enthusiasts have always been fascinated by the architecture that Lego bricks can provide. For example, Andrea Lattanzio is one of those Lego enthusiasts that is also a Lego designer. He is fascinated by the architecture of the middle and last century, Modernism architecture. He considers this artistic current as of the breaking point with the stylistic elements of the past, especially those before the World Wars. For Andrea, it came naturally in the last couple of years to create buildings, cars or settings that recall that architectural style. He thinks that Modernism style is very elegant, simple but refined.
Andrea Lattanzio’s Work
The first creation that Andrea has done is the ESSO service station, which is the replica of the service station designed in 1954 by the Dutch architect Dudok. After his first creation, he started doing a series of mid-century theme buildings. In order to create them, Andree has looked through many photographic books on the architecture of the second post-war period where he found interesting ideas from his Lego creations. These ideas had given birth to the first of the MOC series, The Hot Dog Stand which had become popular for the AFOL community. The creation was chosen by The Brothers Brick to be into a shortlist of 10 best creations of 2018.
However, at first, Andrea didn’t think of using the same platform to build other street-food themes MOCs, but the results of the Hot Dog Stand, Andrea has built-in February 2019 the Coffee Stand that combined his passion for coffee with Modernism. The next piece of the series was the Hamburger Stand which Andrea conceived after watching the movie The Founder, which tells the birth of Mc Donald’s fast-food chain. The film proved to be an enormous source of ideas for his creations.
Another typical Modernist architecture that Andrea has built is the Agip Supercortemaggiore gas station. Many people are not familiar with the Agip, however, the brand is Italian and built gas stations in the 50s and 60s. Andrea’s creations are also heavily inspired by the Googie style which is a type of futuristic architecture influenced by car culture, jets, Space Age, and Atomic Age. The style has become widely known in the mid-century of modernism.
In addition, Andrea has been found by Lego which appreciated his creations and Andrea had the honor and pleasure to exhibit one of his creations, the Modernism Shell Gas Station at Masterpiece Gallery, LEGO Billund from September 2018 until September 2019.
Riaan Pretorius Work
However, Andrea Lattanzio is not the only Lego designer around, another one with the name of Riaan Pretorius is known for creating The Walk shopping center, a model that was inspired by his local shopping malls in his home country of South Africa. Riaan has been building MOCs since 2014. However, his experience in building sets started when he was only 7, and back then he was playing with Lego right through primary and secondary school.
The reason why Riaan enjoys building Legos is that his dream was to become an architect or model builder because he is a huge fan of commercial architecture. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it to become what he wanted however he became a business owner. He always wanted to build Lego as an adult but he thought that people would think funny of him. However, he saw other adults doing it as well, so when he started to build he didn’t care anymore of what others think of him.
In addition, Lego helped Riaan become what he always wanted to be, to design and build amazing looking buildings. When it comes to building Riaan loves realism and what could be done in Lego. He is not a superhero fan or something, but he sees himself as a realist. For him, the City is amazing and one day he would love to have a huge city built in Lego. It is interesting because there are few pieces of nanoblocks that are able to make up entire or parts of a city. Let us take, for example, the city of London, which is a very popular city for a lot of people. However, you don’t have to be a designer in order to build a city, because there are other bricks or nanoblocks that can help you out with that. If you want to build a London nanoblock, then go ahead, because it is possible.
But for Riaan, in order to start a large project, it was problematic because he didn’t have the parts in order to get a project done. However, after Riaan joined the local Lego User Group, he got help from other members and was able to gather more pieces in order to start building. Because of the help, he could have fun building the pieces he wanted.
Riaans’ building process starts by visualizing his model design in his head. From there, he makes some sketches and takes notes of things he wants to remember. Actually, he recalls that he always takes notes, because ideas can happen any time and when this occasion hits, he writes it down so he won’t forget it.