Iconic landmarks in LEGO® bricks

How many LEGO® bricks would it take to build these 10 iconic landmarks in real life? 

There are thousands of iconic landmarks worldwide, and each has an interesting story to share. Fortunately, you don't have to travel the world to see them.

With LEGO® Architecture sets, you can bring these wonderful structures to life in the miniature form right in your own home. Each set has been carefully designed to replicate the intricate features and details of the original building. Although these LEGO® sets are miniature, what would it take to build these monuments in full size out of LEGO bricks?

There is little chance of you finding space for a life-size Taj Mahal or Empire State Building in your back garden, but what if you could see your favourite landmark entirely made out of LEGO® bricks? 

With that in mind, let's find out how many LEGO® bricks you would need to build these iconic landmarks in real life, as well as which Architecture sets would make a more practical alternative.

Eiffel Tower — 41,631,420,091 LEGO Bricks

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought-iron lattice tower whose construction began in 1887 in the Champ de Mars in Paris. Measuring 324 meters tall, it was the world's tallest structure for more than 40 years.

It made a grand entrance at the 1889 World's Fair held in Paris to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Whilst it took an impressive 7,000 metric tons of puddle iron to build the Eiffel Tower, it would take an astonishing 41,631,420,091 LEGO® bricks to build a life-size replica.

About the LEGO® Architecture Paris Skyline Set

You can recreate your very own Eiffel Tower from LEGO bricks at a far more living-room-friendly size with the LEGO® Architecture Paris Skyline set.

Measuring a modest 22cm high, 28cm wide, and 11cm deep, it features the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Grand Palais, Tour Montparnasse, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysees. 

Empire State Building — 531,312,457,830 LEGO® Bricks

The Empire State Building is one of New York City's most impressive and iconic attractions. Completed in 1931, it was the tallest building in the world for almost four decades, standing 380 meters tall to its top floor or 443 meters if you count the antenna and spire.

The Empire State Building's exterior comprises 5,500 cubic metres of Indiana limestone and granite, 730 tonnes of stainless steel and aluminium, and 10 million bricks. That's equivalent to 531,312,457,830 LEGO® bricks.

About the LEGO® Architecture Empire State Building Set

The LEGO® Architecture Empire State Building set is perfect for building and displaying at home. At 55cm high, the incredibly detailed 360° model accurately replicates the lines of the building's four curtain wall facades and even its art deco antenna tower.

Statue of Liberty — 538,257,392 LEGO® Bricks

As America's iconic symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty stands proudly over New York harbour's Liberty Island. The neoclassical sculpture was a gift from France to the United States in 1886 to commemorate the American Revolution, and stands at an impressive 93 metres tall. If you wanted to build your own full-sized Statue of Liberty from LEGO® bricks, it would require 538,257,392 LEGO® bricks to complete.

About the LEGO® Architecture Statue of Liberty set

With the LEGO® Architecture Statue of Liberty set, you can celebrate the landmark's incredible combination of sculpture and architecture at home. While it might stand at a more modest 44cm high, this impressive interpretation faithfully reproduces the beauty of the original. It features a pedestal with intricate shield and brick detailing, columned balconies and, of course, a Lady Liberty statue complete with a golden torch, 7-ray crown, iconic tablet and flowing robe.

The London Eye — 6,847,352,620 LEGO Bricks

Opened in 2000, The London Eye stands 135 meters high and provides a spectacular panoramic view across London, up to 25 kilometers in all directions. It is the world's largest cantilevered observation wheel and has won more than 85 awards for its architectural quality, engineering achievement, and tourism.

Located on the South Bank of the River Thames, it is the UK's most popular paid tourist attraction, with more than three million visitors each year.

To build The London Eye out of LEGO® bricks would be no mean feat, requiring an astonishing 6,847,352,620 LEGO® bricks.

Big Ben (The Elizabeth Tower) — 1,192,966,711 LEGO Bricks

Big Ben is quite possibly the world's most famous clock, although 'Big Ben' is actually the nickname for the Great Bell in the eye-catching clock tower that looms over the UK's parliament buildings in Westminster, London. 

The tower's official name is now Elizabeth Tower after it was renamed in 2012. Originally called the Clock Tower, construction was completed in 1859 after the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by a fire in 1834.

Elizabeth Tower is over 96 meters tall with 393 steps leading to the very top of the tower. To build your own full-scale Elizabeth Tower, you would need 1,192,966,711 LEGO® bricks.

About the LEGO® Architecture London Skyline Set

With the LEGO® Architecture London Skyline set, you can recreate some of the capital's iconic architecture at home on a much smaller scale.

At 15cm high, this incredibly detailed model accurately depicts the color and comparative size of Big Ben, Tower Bridge, The London Eye, Nelson's Column, and the National Gallery. With Tower Bridge opening to welcome ships, transparent baseplate tiles represent London's famous Thames River.

Taj Mahal — 19,924,512,380 LEGO Bricks

The Taj Mahal is an imposing-looking ivory-white mausoleum that sits on the banks of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra.

The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan originally commissioned it to house the tomb of his late favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and later his own tomb. 

Completed in 1643, the tomb is the centrepiece of the 42-acre complex, which also houses a guest house and mosque. To recreate this iconic structure would take as many as 19,924,512,380 LEGO® bricks.

About the LEGO® Architecture Taj Mahal Set

With 2,022 pieces, the LEGO® Architecture Taj Mahal set comes in a living-room-friendly size of 20cm high, 23cm wide and 23cm deep.

The impeccably detailed model features the Taj Mahal's authentic details, such as the crypt with tombs of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan, central chamber with 2 cenotaphs, monumental iwans, main dome, 4 chhatris and 4 slender minarets.

Tokyo Skytree — 232,374,872,133 LEGO Bricks

Standing at a gigantic 634 metres, Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo. While it is Japan's tallest structure, it's also the world's second-tallest tower and third-tallest freestanding structure.

Opened in 2012, the tower has an upper conservatory that features a glass-covered spiral skywalk that visitors can use to climb the last five metres to the tower's highest point.

Recreating a life-size Tokyo Skytree from LEGO® bricks would require a whopping 232,374,872,133 pieces.

About the LEGO® Architecture Tokyo Skyline set

With the LEGO® Architecture Tokyo Skyline set, you can capture Tokyo's impressive skyline at home. It makes a wonderful souvenir for visitors to Japan's capital, those who live or have lived there or those who dream of visiting one day.

This awe-inspiring LEGO® toy measures 28cm high and features scale models of Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Big Sight and Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower.

Coit Tower – 715,221,502 LEGO® bricks

The iconic Coit Tower is a thick and cylindrical tower that stands 64 metres above Pioneer Park in San Francisco, California. The tower was built in 1933 after a substantial donation made by Lillie Hitchcock Coit to create a structure to beautify the city.

On completion, the tower was dedicated to the volunteer firefighters who died in the city's five major fires. Inside the tower are hand-painted murals that reflect life in San Francisco in the 1920s and 1930s.

If it had been created using LEGO® bricks, Coit Tower would have required an incredible 715,221,502 LEGO® bricks to build.

About the LEGO® Architecture San Francisco Skyline set

With the LEGO® Architecture San Francisco Skyline set, you can celebrate some of San Francisco's most magnificent architecture. Measuring over 16cm high and 28cm wide, it features an accurate representation of San Francisco's famous landmarks and attractions.

You can build your very own miniature Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fort Point, Coit Tower, Salesforce Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, 555 California Street and the famous "painted ladies" buildings.

Burj Khalifa – 885,102,460,252 LEGO® bricks

Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building and tallest freestanding structure, measuring more than 828 metres tall. Made from concrete and glass, the building houses a variety of commercial and hospitality businesses, along with residential accommodation.

It took 22 million working hours to build, using 39,000 tonnes of steel rebar and 330,000 cubic metres of concrete. However, to build it out of LEGO® bricks, you would need 885,102,460,252 pieces.

About the LEGO® Architecture Dubai Skyline set

Dubai is home to some of the world's most incredible buildings, which you can recreate with the LEGO® Architecture Dubai Skyline set.

This spectacular building set features scale models of the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Fountain, the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, the incredible 7-star Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel and the Dubai Frame.

The compact set measures over 33cm high, 27cm wide and 7cm deep. What this striking model lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in visual impact.

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Hotel – 196,999,255,862 LEGO® bricks

The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Hotel in Dubai is one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Standing 321 metres tall, it is one of the world's tallest hotels.

The hotel was built on a man-made island that guests can only access via a 340 metre long bridge road. It took five years to build, finally opening in 1999, and features 24-carat gold interiors, 24,000 square metres of marble and the world's largest Swarovski crystal ceiling.

You would need an incredible 196,999,255,862 LEGO® bricks to build a life-size Burj Al Arab.

While you may not have the space, budget or even enough LEGO® bricks in your collection to recreate a life-size version of your favourite iconic landmark, LEGO® Architecture sets are the next best thing.

They include all of the features and details you’d see on the original structure, just in miniature form. So, whether you love to travel or are just fascinated by the incredible architectural wonders around the world, with these LEGO® sets you can build your own mini landmark to enjoy every day.

Learning about extreme builds from a LEGO® ‘master building’ icon

Recently, we spoke to viral sensation, Alec Posta. Alec works as a LEGO® ‘Master Model Builder’ at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Arizona, United States. 

In recent years Alec has become a viral sensation, well known for his extreme builds and top tips for LEGO® builds. In total, he has amassed a sensational 1.4m+ followers on social media platform TikTok

Finding the right process for your build 

We asked Alec: 

“What’s your process? How do you turn an idea into reality?” 

Alec replied: 

“When starting a model I try to identify what I’d consider the key part of the build. For functional models, this might mean the gearbox or any moving parts. For animals, this might be the plumage of a bird, the snout of a dog, or the stripes of a tiger. The first thing I do for a build is make that key element as stellar as possible. 

If that means building and rebuilding it 15 times before I’m satisfied with it then that’s what I do. This is the part of the build that will act as the centerpiece, and it’s where all the wow factor of the build comes from. 

Once I’m happy with the centerpiece it’s all about filling out the rest of the model in a way that showcases the “wow”. Now that’s not to say I neglect the rest of the build, but those supporting elements don’t need to stand out as much as the centerpiece. If your LEGO® dragon breathes real fire no one is going to notice if its toes are a little wonky.” 

Building a kitchen out of LEGO® bricks 

We asked Alec: 

“If you could build anything, what would you build?” 

Alec replied: 

“I really want to build a full LEGO® kitchen at half or quarter scale. 

1) I love to cook, and 2) I think a kitchen is a ubiquitous enough thing that pretty much anyone who saw it would be absolutely delighted to see tiny LEGO® pots and pans, a mini LEGO® microwave, cabinets filled with individually made dishes and a fridge with brick built food inside (I actually already have the fridge built!). 

People might be confused as to why there is a half-sized, well-stocked LEGO® kitchen but I think they’d be hard pressed not to smile when they saw it.” 

Top tips for being a better LEGO® builder 

We asked Alec: 

“Do you have any top tips to become better at building with LEGO® bricks?” 

Alec replied: 

“As with anything, the key thing is to just keep doing it every day. Start by building a small set one day. The next day take apart that set and try making something new from it. If you don’t like what you built, or can’t figure anything out THAT’S OKAY! The key thing is you’re actively participating in the process of design, and you will get better with time.” 

Building a jack-o-lantern from 25,000 bricks

We asked Alec:

“What’s the highest number of bricks you’ve needed for a build?”

Alec replied:

“It’s only a dream on paper right now but I did just order 25,000 orange bricks to make a jack-o-lantern kids can walk inside.”

600 hour LEGO® build

We asked Alec:

“What’s the longest time spent on a build?”

Alec replied: 

“I generally try not to spend too long on a build but one of the heavy hitters is the Phoenix Cardinals Stadium. I didn’t personally build that one entirely by myself but in total it took around 600 hours to build.

I’m currently working on a scale replica of the attraction I work at: LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona. I’ve spent about 80 hours on it so far and am looking at about another 100 hours of work before it’s finished.”

Transferable Master Builder skills

We asked Alec:

“What transferable skills have you developed from being a master builder?”

Alec replied:

“Being a Master Builder has converted me into an extrovert. I can just walk up to a group of strangers and start a conversation in a way I never would have been able to before this job.

My workshop is right in the middle of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona, and I have a large window that opens into the attraction. While I build, people can come up to the window and talk with me. I’m very happy about the people skills I’ve built up working in this position.”

The creative mindset for master building

We asked Alec:

“What made you want to become a master builder?”

Alec replied:

“I love making things regardless of the medium. I love exploring the creative process, learning new techniques, and the sense of accomplishment I feel when I’m holding a finished product that I’ve designed from nothing more than a bunch of raw materials. This is the perfect job to flex those creative muscles.”

How to become a master builder

We asked Alec:

“Any tips for kids who want to become a master builder?”

Alec replied:

“My best advice for kids is to create their own designs. Take your sets apart and use those bricks to create something from your imagination. If you’re not sure where to start, try remixing a set. Change just a couple of things about it without totally tearing it apart. Once you get into the habit of thinking like a master builder it will get easier.”

Learning from each and every build

We asked Alec:

“Is there anything you've attempted to build but failed?”

Alec replied:

“In any given week there are several models I start building and never finish. I don’t really think of these as 'failures' so much as 'being put on the eternal back-burner.' Even if I never come back to finish them, I like to think that the work I put in still has value. Parts of the build may have been successful even if, on the whole, the model didn’t work out. I can use those successes as a springboard for different projects.”

Leaning on the creative mindsets of kid fanatics

We asked Alec:

“How do you come up with new concepts? Does it start with a sketch?”

Alec replied:

“I draw inspiration from a lot of different places, but one of my favourite methods is to start building with absolutely no plan in mind. I’m not the best at visualising what things are going to look like beforehand, so free-building abstract models gets my brain working in a way that allows me to get into a good creative flow.

Another great place to draw inspiration is from the absolutely wild minds of children. I like asking the kids visiting LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona what they want to see built out of LEGO® bricks. Recent highlights are a goldfish trapped in a bubble and a frog made out of smaller frogs.”

The cost of mega builds

We asked Alec:

“How much does it cost to build them?”

Alec replied:

“The cost of any individual model varies greatly. Some of the larger buildings in our Miniland, the local cityscape created out of more than a million LEGO® bricks, took hundreds of design and build hours. Each one of those models can cost thousands of dollars.

I often make microscale models: animals and figures built from just a handful of bricks. Those ones cost just a couple of cents, so I like to sometimes hand those out to kids visiting LEGOLAND Discovery Center.”

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