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]

New LEGO Sets Let You Recreate the Iconic Skylines of San Francisco and Paris

In 2016, LEGO began releasing architecture-themed sets that let toy-loving designers recreate the world’s most famous skylines in their own homes, beginning with re-creations of New York, Venice, and Berlin. And now, the company is adding Paris and San Francisco to the mix, according to Archinect.

The new LEGO Architecture kit for Paris will feature the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe (both already available as stand-alone skyscraper kits) as well as the Louvre, the Tour Montparnasse, and other famous buildings. The LEGO San Francisco kit features the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Pyramid, Coit Tower, 555 California (formerly the Bank of America Center), Alcatraz Island, and the new Salesforce Tower, which recently became the city’s tallest building.

LEGO sets of the Paris and San Francisco skylines

No doubt residents of both cities will have some gripes about which buildings were included and which were nixed from the kits. The Tour Montparnasse, in particular, was so deeply loathed upon its completion in the 1970s that the city of Paris promptly imposed a strict height restriction on buildings taller than 11 stories. Meanwhile, many San Francisco residents are still adjusting to the sight of the Salesforce Tower, which opened in 2018—it has been called “an atrocious spectacle,” its height described as “really offensive.”

You can check out all the kits from LEGO’s Architecture line here. Keep an eye out for the San Francisco and Paris versions starting early next year.

[h/t Architect]

The Tuscan Castle You've Always Dreamed of Owning Can Be Yours for $18.3 Million

Sammezzano Castle
Sammezzano Castle
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

If you’ve ever dreamed of living like Tuscan nobility, now is the time. Sammezzano Castle, a centuries-old palatial home located just outside Florence, Italy, is for sale, and it could be yours for just $18.3 million, according to Curbed.

The three-floor (plus basement!) castle was first built in the early 1600s, but the current building was renovated in the mid-19th century by Italian politician and architect Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d'Aragona, who added the eclectic Moorish-inspired elements found throughout.

A cavernous ceiling in a castle
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

Colorful tile ceilings in Sammezzano Castle
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

At more than 58,000 square feet, the castle has 365 different rooms, each with a name and a decorative theme, including the Peacock Room and the White Room. It has previously served as a luxury hotel, spa, and golf club, though it’s been largely closed to the public since the 1990s. (It opens for a few limited guided tours per year.)

A hallway in Sammezzano Castle
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

A room in Sammezzano Castle with arched ceilings and intricate tile work
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

The building is surrounded by a sprawling park and preserve that’s home to the largest group of giant sequoias in Italy.

Sounds like quite the Instagram wonderland. Interested? See the full listing at Coldwell Banker.

[h/t Curbed]