‘The House of Five Continents’ sits at the corner of the Het Zuid district in Antwerp, Belgium. It’s one of the many houses in the area with the heavily-detailed, stylized curved doors and windows that are iconic to Art Nouveau architecture. Art Nouveau is used to describe buildings, paintings, furniture, sculptures and art that draws inspiration from the continuous lines and shapes of nature. Few LEGO builders have tried to emulate the style of Art Nouveau. In comparison, the system of LEGO is rigid in that you can’t physically change the way bricks fit together and most pieces aren’t molded to look natural and free-flowing. Granted, there are still purist leeways that don’t involve counterfeit parts or (the unholy) LEGO cut.
On the House of Five Continents, the railings of the third floor balcony feature a subtle downward angle that would be fragile on their own and would cause some awkward connections at the base and roof of the balcony. My solution is to use Technic pieces, a LEGO theme that produces realistic car models. Though the connectors are more angular than the real-life balcony, they add a lot of stability to the overall component. I’ve added some minifigure ski-poles for decoration and as extensions of the Technic pieces. The white bricks act as connectors between the technic and ski pole pieces.
Instead of building The House of Five Continents from the ground up like I have with my previous projects, I’ll be focusing on certain components, like the balcony railing, and piecing them all together in the end. Naturally, my next step is to start building the ship that juts out at the base of the balcony. Stay tuned for the build!