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LEGO Releases Guggenheim Museum Set to Celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright's 150th Birthday

Not every architecture buff can follow in the footsteps of Frank Lloyd Wright, but thanks to LEGO, they can now build a small-scale replica of one of his most important public works. As Dezeen reports, the toy brand has released a brand-new set of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to celebrate the architect’s 150th birthday on June 8.

A LEGO set of the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright

The 744-piece collection is part of the company’s LEGO Architecture series, which includes models of famous buildings and landmarks like Buckingham Palace and the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai.

The set depicts the museum’s dramatically curved façade, along with the 10-story limestone tower that was added to the building in 1992. In front of the museum, mini yellow cabs whiz along a plastic Fifth Avenue.

A LEGO set of the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright

For the uninitiated, the Guggenheim Museum in New York opened to the public in 1959, just six months after Wright’s death at the age of 91. Critics gave it mixed reviews, with one describing it as “the most beautiful building in America,” and another referring to the structure as “less a museum than it is a monument to Frank Lloyd Wright.” Others likened it to an "inverted oatmeal dish," or a "hot cross bun." Today, the Guggenheim is celebrated as the last major work of Wright's career, and as a pioneering work of modernist architecture.

A LEGO set of the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright

Technically, this isn’t LEGO’s first Guggenheim set: They released a smaller model of the museum in 2009, but the new one is reportedly more precise. It’s currently available for purchase on LEGO’s website, or from Target. And if you want to celebrate Wright’s legacy in person in New York City, the Guggenheim is hosting a day-long celebration on June 8, complete with a special reduced admission fee of $1.50.

[h/t Dezeen]

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Luke Hayes, Asif Khan/Getty Images
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architecture
Vantablack Pavilion at the Winter Olympics Mimics the Darkness of Space
Luke Hayes, Asif Khan/Getty Images
Luke Hayes, Asif Khan/Getty Images

British company Surrey NanoSystems disrupted the color spectrum when it debuted Vantablack: the darkest artificial substance ever made. The material is dark enough to absorb virtually all light waves, making 3D objects look like endless black voids. It was originally designed for technology, but artists and designers have embraced the unique shade. Now, Dezeen reports that British architect Asif Khan has brought Vantablack to the Winter Olympics.

His temporary pavilion at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea has been dubbed the darkest building on Earth. The 33-foot-tall structure has been coated with Vantablack VBx2, a version of Vantablack pigment that comes in a spray can.

The building’s sides curve inward like shadowboxes. To break up the all-consuming blackness, Khan outfitted the walls with rods. White lights at the ends of the sticks create the effect of stars scattered across an endless night sky.

Child next to wall painted to look like the night sky.
Luke Hayes, Asif Khan/Getty Images

Khan told Dezeen that the piece is meant to give “the impression of a window cut into space.” He was only able to realize this vision after contacting the scientists behind Vantablack. He told them he wanted to use the color to coat a building, something the pigment wasn’t designed for originally. Sculptor Anish Kapoor securing exclusive rights to artistic use of the color in 2016 further complicated his plans. The solution was the sprayable version: Vantablack VBx2 is structurally (and therefore legally) different from the original pigment and better suited for large-scale projects.

The pavilion was commissioned by Hyundai to promote their hydrogen fuel cell technology. The space-themed exterior is a nod to the hydrogen in stars. Inside, a white room filled with sprinklers is meant to represent the hydrogen found in water.

The area will be open to visitors during the Winter Olympics, which kick off in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday, February 9.

[h/t Dezeen]

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Shari Austrian
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Design
You Can Order a Stunningly Detailed LEGO Replica of Your House on Etsy
Shari Austrian
Shari Austrian

LEGO blocks can be used to construct fictional starships and works of abstract art, but there's something comforting in replicating what's familiar to you. That's the concept behind Little Brick Lane, an Etsy shop that promises to custom-build detailed LEGO models of real homes.

Designer Shari Austrian tells Apartment Therapy that the idea came to her when her family was building their real-life house. Her twin boys had recently gotten her interested in LEGO, so she decided to construct a scaled-down, blocky replica to match their new home. She enjoyed the project enough to launch a business around LEGO architecture on Etsy at the end of 2017.

Austrian bases her designs off interior and exterior photos of each house, and if they're available, architectural plans. Over eight to 10 weeks, she constructs the model using LEGO pieces she orders to match the building design perfectly, recreating both the inside and outside of the house in the utmost detail.

To request a custom LEGO abode of your own, you can reach out to Austrian through her Etsy shop, but warning: It won't come cheap. A full model will cost you at least $2500 (the exact price is based on the square footage of your home). That price covers the cost of the materials Austrian invests in each house, which can add up quick. "The average LEGO piece costs approximately 10 cents," she tells Mental Floss, and her models are made up of tens of thousands of pieces. But if you're looking for something slightly cheaper, she also offers exterior-only models for $1500 and up.

For your money, you can be confident that Austrian won't skimp on any details. As you can see in the images below, every feature of your house—from the appliances in your kitchen to the flowers in your yard—will be immortalized in carefully chosen plastic bricks.

A bedroom made of LEGO

A kitchen model made of LEGO

The exterior of a house made of LEGO

[h/t Apartment Therapy]

All images courtesy of Shari Austrian.

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