Why Not: LEGO Real Life Construction Ideas

Link - article by Avi Abrams

LEGO Bridges, LEGO Concrete and Soaring Umbrellas (for good measure)

Well, bridges and overpasses made from LEGO blocks would be a definite improvement over the gray boring concrete of which most of modern urban infrastructure is built. Or, rather, we should say "LEGO look-alike" bridges, as they are still made from concrete and only made to look like brightly-colored plastic LEGO blocks. In any case, these installations represent creative and artistic vision of street artists and architects who want to please the geek crowd, or just re-connect with their inner child (for those trying to remember the joys of building something from a really cool construction set, we recommend to check out our article "Vintage Construction Toys: Blast from the Past!").

(top right: LunaBlocks LEGO furniture, more info)

We start with the Lego-Brücke, a concrete overpass in Wuppertal, Germany, which crosses the Schwesterstrasse in the superb, wonderfully stylish way: in 2011 some of the concrete blocks of this bridge were repainted to resemble the LEGO bricks by street artist Martin Heuwold, or Megx - more info.

(images via)

To build a LEGO-resembling bridge is by no means a new idea. Here is a similar concept on a lesser scale, but perhaps even more LEGO-like, seen in Lodz, Poland (created by artist Blaga Cho):

(image credit: Layyla)

Yet another blocky footbridge was designed by architect Michael Jantzen, and indeed it looks like it's been built from LEGO blocks, but alas, it's all concrete only - more info:

(image via)

Some LEGO maniacs are not stopping at building miniature models or painting over concrete to make it look like LEGO. Why not go all the way and build life-size, functional buildings using LEGO concrete blocks?

Concrete LEGO blocks can be used to build a House of Parliament (if they would only allow it)

These LEGO blocks by Andrew Lewicki are not very big, only 15 inches in length, but they can be stacked together just like in a real LEGO set, and with due diligence and expertise, can be used for serious construction of real buildings:

(images via)

Of course, these industrial-looking gray concrete blocks start looking really playful once painted in signature LEGO colors:

(image via)

And what can be built out of such marvelous set, I wonder? How about...

The Full-Size LEGO Church!

One of the so-called "temporary monuments", this project in Enschede, the Netherlands, has a whale of a name: "Abondantus Gigantus"... and is meant to be a functional church, or, in the absence of willing congregation, a humble festival pavilion:

(images via)

"Abondantus Gigantus" was designed by architect Michiel de Wit and artist Filip Jonker, the team responsible for other "temporary monuments" across Europe. The blocks used for this structure were quite large: they weigh 1200kg, more than a meter and a half in length (80x40x160 cm). In total, 608 blocks were used...

First, of course, the gray LEGO cement blocks had to be brightly painted:

(images via)

Then construction progressed in earnest, enjoying press coverage at every step:

... and after the actual building got finished, you could still play around with setting it up on a lesser scale, with the help of this LEGO model for kids:

(images via)

Of course, the LEGO church would require LEGO Bibles, and sure enough, there is a site called The Brick Bible: a colorful collection of Bible stories done entirely in LEGO for kids and adults.

Movie "Up!", realized in a subtle Portuguese manner?

But why limit yourself with building bridges and buildings from a bunch of blocks? Why not hang something colorful over your head, like a bunch of these cheerful umbrellas -

(image credit: Patricia Almeida)

This is the awesome umbrella street canopy in the city of Agueda in Portugal - more info - and it's not the only one. Several of the city's main street got this colorful treatment from the Portuguese design firm "Studio Ivotavares":

(images credit: Patricia Almeida)

What a lovely idea, to spice up urban life with the sunlight reflections and playful shadows from the boisterous splash of color overhead! The famous mega-hotel "Bellagio" in Las Vegas did a similar thing using blown-glass flowers attached to the illuminated ceiling in its lobby (and it ended up quite beautiful, see here), but here the effect is somewhat more natural, exuberant and uplifting.

Largest LEGO Pieces are used to build the Biggest Bridges (or so it seems)

And finally, here is another honest-to-goodness rail bridge, this time a huge one, the famous Forth Rail Bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland - and what do we see here? More LEGO blocks! -

(image credit: Tony Hisgett, via Wikipedia Commons)

Sadly, these are not real LEGO blocks. It's only the protective covering for workers on the bridge which created this illusion (not sure if it was done intentionally, or not). But think again about the huge LEGO concrete blocks available to modern construction crews: what marvelous and geeky structures can be built from such a singular material! The possibilities are endless.... time to put on your LEGO-flamed "thinking cap" -

Article by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.

Also Read: "The Geekiest LEGO Ideas!" ->


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