Sydney’s revered opera house immortalised in LEGO bricks

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Sydney Opera House

The Architecture Sydney Opera House has been officially announced today:

BILLUND, Denmark – The Sydney Opera House™, a masterpiece of late-modernist architecture that is admired internationally and treasured by the people of Australia, has had its famous sculpted curves recreated by LEGO® Architecture.

Sydney Opera House was created by Jørn Utzon, a young Danish architect who understood the potential provided by the site against the stunning backdrop of Sydney Harbour. The massive concrete sculptural shells that form the Sydney Opera House’s roof appear like billowing sails filled by the sea winds. Utzon envisaged it as a Gothic cathedral that people would never tire of and ‘never be finished with’.

The LEGO version of the Sydney Opera House seeks to capture the essence of this grand building in a small scale. The LEGO Architecture range, which now features 13 models, uses the iconic LEGO brick to interpret the designs of iconic architecture around the world. Like the other models in the range it was created by Adam Reed-Tucker.

Sydney Opera House is not only a building with great beauty but it has also become known throughout the world as a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country. “For us it was an obvious choice to include it in our collection, both because of its significance in the architectural world and its importance within Danish Architecture,” says Daiva Staneikaite Naldal, Senior Business Manager LEGO Architecture.

Since its opening in 1973 over 45 million people have attended more than 100 000 performances and it is estimated that well over 100 million people have visited the site. It is one of Australia's most visited tourist attractions.

“Sydney Opera House is thrilled to partner with one of the world’s leading toy manufacturers to produce the Sydney Opera House LEGO Architecture set,” says Sydney Opera House’s Commercial Development Director, Andy Lown.

“Sydney Opera House strives to take people on a journey from the ordinary to the extraordinary, whoever and wherever they are, and this licensed range is a great example of how we can deliver our brand to a global audience. We’re delighted people from around the world can now build a LEGO brick replica of the House.”

LEGO Architecture products features well-known buildings, and the work of important architects Aimed at inspiring future architects, engineers and designers as well as architecture fans around the world, the range contains a booklet featuring step-by-step building instructions that is prefaced by exclusive, archival history, information and photographs of each iconic building, its design origin, its architect and its architectural features. For more information about LEGO Architecture visit http://architecture.lego.com/

The LEGO Sydney Opera House™ will be available for purchase from March 1 in LEGO brand retail stores, LEGOLAND Stores and online at http://shop.lego.com/ . The product is designed for ages 12+ and will include a content-rich booklet with facts and history of Sydney Opera House™. Recommended retail price is $39.99 or €39.99

45 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Not a fan I'm afraid.

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By in Canada,

while i've never been a fan of this series, this has to be the worst of the lot.

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By in United Kingdom,

This has to be in the reckoning for the "Worst Set Ever", I'm afraid...

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By in New Zealand,

Ugly.
Shame really, as the original is beautiful.

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By in United Kingdom,

Isn't just me then

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow just read the price simply shocking.

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By in Canada,

Interesting to see what the markup will be on this set at the gift shop of the Sydney Opera House

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By in Canada,

Um yeah.. >_>

I don't think I'll be getting this...

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By in United States,

I see that I'm in a minority here, but I like it.

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By in United States,

They really should have created the Opera House in large scale like the Taj Mahal and Tower Bridge.

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By in United States,

I give them a lot of credit for trying; it's certainly not an easy building to capture in brick form, especially at this small scale. But this might've been an idea best left on the drawing board. It looks more like an attack of sarlaccs or sandworms than the venerable Sydney opera house. Other than prideful Aussies, I don't see too many people buying this for aesthetic value.

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By in United Kingdom,

Never should of left the idea of the guy that thought it up, its just so bad

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By in United Kingdom,

Oh, I dunno...it's recognisable. I have to agree with @Modok.

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By in United States,

I have to agree with @Modok as well. It is instantly recognizable from afar, but up close is not so great. I will not be buying this.

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By in United States,

I don't love Architecture, I don't love this, and I REALLY don't love the price.

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By in United Kingdom,

Sorry but Lego have really dropped the ball on this one. It simply doesn't carry off the shape well enough for its size, and as usual for Architecture sets is way overpriced. A shame.

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By in United States,

Doesn't work. I think they needed to mold new pieces to achieve the distinct look of the Opera House.
Almost looks like it's still in its 'sketch' phase...to be improved upon.

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By in United States,

The model itself is not very good but probably the best they could of done on a microscale. Amazon will probably have it discounted and it does have cool pieces. I can already see building a microscale airplane or space hangar from it.

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By in United States,

When you look at the thumbnail picture, you think "Sydney Opera House." However, when you click on the thumbnail and view the full size image, the resemblance is slight at best. I think the lesson to be learned is this - if you are designing a LEGO Architecture set, and the defining feature of your model is built using only ten large pieces, you probably need to scrap the idea and start over.

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By in United States,

I agree with a previous poster...why can't they make these sets in a much large scale? Smaller versions are actually a bit cheesy. I would have purchased this particular theme if they would have made it with 3000+ pieces. The set they are releasing looks like it belongs in a poly bag.

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By in United States,

I like it. It may not be perfect, but as Adam Reed Tucker said, “I first and foremost do not view my models as literal replicas, but rather my own artistic interpretations through the use of LEGO bricks as a medium.” I will be most likely purchasing this set.

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By in United States,

Looking at other angles of it...if you look at it eye level on the long side, it's more appealing and the 'front' (the left short side) looks and has the feel of those large openings you see on the Opera House.
If you're a fan of the building it's not terrible. All these architect series buildings are nice diplay, office desktop models anyways. They all look good in an abstract way as well.
^True...it's Tucker's own way of interpreting the building. And the limit he has with the piece count and price point Lego wants on the market.

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By in Canada,

I find this model fits in nicely with the other miniture architecture sets. They've never struck me as something interesting given their relatively small stature and pricing... well I'm not going to touch on that.

This is clearly one of the better models however. Unlike some of the earlier models, at least I can tell what this is supposed to be! I've also seen Lego offer a lot less for 40 bucks.

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By in United States,

Most of the Architecture sets have been really good, if somewhat simplistic, but this one just doesn't seem to work. And the price seems a little much too... I agree that it would've been nicer to see it as a larger model, although I probably wouldn't have bought that either. It'll be interesting to see how well this sells.

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By in United States,

No changes? Whoever overlooked this projects must really be blind.

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By in Canada,

Still looks like the Great Pit of Carkoon!!!!

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By in Australia,

I live in Australia, and I’ve actually seen the opera house close up, and to be truthful the building only looks good from a distance.

I think the model captures all the character of the building, and I believe to appreciate these mini models you need to stand back and admire the building for what it is.

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By in Australia,

No, it's not an easy building to try to reproduce when you're using Lego pieces. I do give them credit for trying.

But yeah, I'm still not a fan. They couldn't have picked the bridge, or something, if they wanted a uniquely Australian set?

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By in United States,

Even with large curved parts, this model just fails to look like the real thing. I googled up images of the Sydney Opera House and the top part is underscaled on this model big time; too much tan base and not enough of the structure is present for it to look accurate.

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By in United States,

Some interesting building techniques and some interesting pieces, but a little too choppy (too me).

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By in United States,

I may be the minority here, but I actually don't think it looks that bad. Sure some more white would be better, but the shape looks fine. As with most architecture sets that price is a little high.

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By in Australia,

hip hip hooray... I guess all the negative comments must mean I should be able to get one really cheaply when they all go on sale, will line up a US friend to buy me some!

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By in United Kingdom,

It looks really bad. I know LEGO will only produce a new brick if absolutely nothing else is suitable, but you'd think they could have done so with the roof. Those bricks don't work and it looks awful.

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By in New Zealand,

Total fail. I agree with Phreakboy this should have been a large scale model. Such a shame because there are some pretty good minifig scale(ish) MOC versions out there. I really hope TLG have another look at this iconic building and see that they have not done it justice. I will not be purchasing this but I would've bought a larger more accurate version.

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By in Greece,

Honestly, if you hadn't told me, I wouldn't know what this was supposed to be a model of - and it's one of the most famous buildings on the planet. Hard to decide which to ignore the most; this or Minecraft...

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By in Denmark,

It not Operah House like, and overprice and they should have produced some custom bricks to get it right.

That being said the construction idea behind the set is pretty nice. Very original construction for an official LEGO-product!!!

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By in United States,

I can tell what it's supposed to be, but it isn't very good. It just needs to be larger to capture the right look.

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By in Austria,

I'm a fan of the Architecture series (just think about the Brandenburg Gate!), but this one is simply ugly, sorry.

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By in Australia,

As someone who lives in Australia, it's disappointing that this set will probably cost around AU$70 here, or around US$75, because of legos pricing policies. It is cheaper for me to buy lego from Barnes and Noble and have it shipped across the Atlantic than buy it here, even on sale.

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By in United Kingdom,

Having seen a picture on Brickshelf of the Forthcoming Big Ben set, I can say that it looks a little more refined than this set.

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By in New Zealand,

Just ghastly. (that goes for the pricing as well). Shame on you Lego! Such Emptiness of the spirit of what is possible in the forum of Lego and such ignorance and insult to the talent of the Lego design community. What nerve!? What Greed! What rubbish is this? Shame on you Lego!

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By in Australia,

I think the saddest thing is that this set probably won't even appear in shops here in Australia. To date, none of the other Architecture sets have..... although perhaps Lego will make an exception in this case and charge us an arm and a leg in the process....

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By in United States,

Lame set.

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By in United States,

really what they should have done is surround it with blue plates... how many times have you ever seen a picture of the SOH without water in it?

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By in Germany,

the other sets of this series are bether

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