Whether you’re looking for a way to decorate your desk or a gift for a creative loved one, Lego Architecture sets are a great choice. Based on some of the most iconic landmarks and skylines around the globe, they provide pint-sized inspiration for adults and kids alike.
Over the past 12 years, more than 50 Lego Architecture sets have been released, but not all of them are still available. Most are now retired, and others were extremely limited releases that the public never got the chance to buy.
Here is a list of the best Lego Architecture sets that you can buy in 2021, as well as where to find discontinued sets from previous years. I’ve also included a few related building sets from other series that might interest fans of Lego Architecture.
Let’s get started!
Update: The Las Vegas and Shanghai sets have been removed from the list, as they’re now officially retired.
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What is Lego Architecture?
Before we get into the sets themselves, here’s a quick background on the Lego Architecture series.
Lego Architecture is a sub-brand of Lego that contains buildings and skylines designed by architect Adam Reed Tucker. He came up with the concept while studying architecture, and was eventually approached by Lego group to design and release official sets.
The first Lego Architecture sets, The Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) and John Hancock Center in Chicago, were released in 2008. These were extremely simple models with less than 100 pieces, but most current models have anywhere from 500 to 2000 pieces total.
There are two sub-categories of Lego Architecture sets: Landmark and Skyline. Landmark sets are important buildings and structures from around the world, and Skyline sets are a collection of 3-5 buildings from a single city that make up a horizontal composition.
Note that while many of these sets can be completed by younger Lego fans, they’re generally quite difficult and children may need help completing them. They’re designed more for slightly older fans of Lego who have been building for a while (or adults that just love architecture!).
Each set comes with a booklet with instructions and some historical facts about the buildings themselves. You can download the booklets without purchasing the sets here.
With that out of the way, let’s have a look at the best Lego Architecture sets that are currently available in 2021!
Best Lego Architecture Sets
1. New York City
Set no: 21028
Release date: 2016
The New York City skyline is one of the most iconic in the world, and the Lego Architecture set is still one of the series’ most popular. Originally released in 2016, it’s a hair shy of 600 pieces.
This set depicts the Flatiron Building, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty. The finished model is 10 inches (26cm) high, 9 inches (25cm) wide, and 1 inch (4cm) deep.
Click the links below to buy the model directly from Lego (and collect VIP points) or from Amazon.
2. San Francisco
Set no: 21043
Release date: 2019
Switching over to the West coast, next up is the San Francisco skyline set. There’s a bit of forced perspective in play with the Golden Gate bridge, and the finished model is perfect to display on a bookshelf or desk.
This Lego Architecture set contains the famous “painted ladies” buildings, 555 California Street, the Transamerica Pyramid, Salesforce Tower, Coit Tower, Fort Point, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island. The finished model is 6 inches (16cm) high, 11 inches (28cm) wide, and 2 inches (7cm) deep.
The San Francisco set also makes a fantastic gift, and it’s a great starting point for those new to Lego Architecture buildings.
3. Statue of Liberty
Set no: 21042
Release date: 2018
The skyline sets are a great introduction to Lego Architecture sets, but if you’re looking for something bigger and more challenging this Statue of Liberty set is a great option.
With more than 1600 pieces, this set will take several hours of concentrated building to complete. As such, it’s not recommended for children or beginners. The finished model measures over 17 inches (44cm) high, 5 inches (14cm) wide, and 5 inches (14cm) deep.
Get this set if you’re looking for a larger piece that still represents one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States.
Set no: 21044
Release date: 2019
Paris is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world, and for good reason. It’s filled with historic landmarks, beautiful buildings, and gorgeous parks — all of which are captured in this Lego Architecture set.
This skyline kit includes the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, Tour Montparnasse, Grand Palais, Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre, with some grass and tree areas, too. The finished model measures 8 inches (22cm) high, 11 inches (28cm) wide, and 4 inches (11cm) deep.
Like the rest of the skyline series, this Lego Architecture kit is suitable for younger builders and experienced Lego architects alike.
Set no: 21034
Release date: 2017
The London Lego Architecture set has far fewer pieces than most of the other skyline models, but it still includes many iconic landmarks of the city. The smaller size also means it’s one of the cheaper models, making it a good gift or starting point.
The model includes National Gallery, Nelson’s Column, London Eye, Big Ben, and Tower Bridge. The finished piece measures over 5 inches high, 11 inches wide, and 3 inches deep.
Grab this one if you’re looking for a cheaper model that doesn’t take quite as long to put together, but still looks great on display.
6. Empire State Building
Set no: 21046
Release date: 2019
The Empire State Building was one of the first Lego Architecture kits released back in 2008, but this updated version blows it out of the water. It went from a simple 77 piece model to a colossal 1700+ piece design that looks incredible on any desk or shelf.
This is one of the tallest Lego Architecture sets, measuring 21 inches (55cm) high, 7 inches (20cm) wide, and 4 inches (12cm) deep when completed.
An impressive and challenging kit, the Empire State Building set is one of the best Lego Architecture sets you can buy.
7. Taj Mahal
Set no: 21056
Release date: 2021
The latest Lego Architecture set to hit the market is also one of the best and most challenging sets to date. With over 2000 pieces, it has an incredible level of detail packed into its pint-sized bricks.
All four facades are exquisitely crafted, and even the sarcophagus can be found in the crypt beneath the domed top. The finished model measures 8 inches (20cm) high, 10 inches (23cm) wide, and 10 inches (23cm) deep.
It’s not quite as luxurious as the now-retired Taj Mahal kit in the Creator lineup, but it’s a lot more accessible and easier on the wallet. That said, younger fans will probably need the help of a parent to complete the set.
Set no: 21051
Release date: 2020
The Tokyo skyline set is one of the most complex Lego Architecture sets in the skyline series, but it’s also one of the most authentic. It features both the traditional and ultra-modern skyscrapers that fill the Japanese mega-metropolis.
The model includes Tokyo Tower, Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo Skytree, Chidorigafuchi Park, Shibuya Crossing, and a few cherry blossom trees in full blossom. The finished model measures 11 inches (28cm) high, 10 inches (23cm) wide, and 3 inches (10cm) deep.
This is one of the most colorful and interesting models in the skyline series, and it makes a nice contrast to the more sober renderings of Western cities like Paris or New York.
9. The White House
Set no: 21054
Release date: 2020
The next entry in the Lego Architecture building collection is also one of the best. The updated White House kit is a wonderfully detailed and worth the price of entry.
The finished model isn’t very tall, but its depth and width make it an excellent display piece. It measures 4 inches (11cm) high, 18 inches (47cm) wide, and 7 inches (20cm) deep.
This is rated as one of the most difficult Lego Architecture sets, but it’s also a great way for parents to spend time with younger children who might struggle to complete it on their own.
Set no: 21052
Release date: 2020
Dubai features some of the most incredible skyscrapers and modern architecture of any city in the world, and this Lego Architecture set perfectly captures that.
The model includes the Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel, Dubai Frame, and The Dubai Fountain. The finished set measures 12 inches (33cm) high, 10 inches (27cm) wide, and 2 inches (7cm) deep.
From a design perspective, this isn’t exactly a fan favorite in the series, but it does make a great souvenir or gift for fans of the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates.
11. Trafalgar Square
Set no: 21045
Release date: 2019
Trafalgar Square is one of the most popular tourist locations in London, and although it’s not included in the skyline set listed above you can still make a miniature version with this Lego Architecture building set.
The model features the National Gallery, Nelson’s Column flanked by 4 lions, 2 fountains, 4 sculpture plinths, and a variety of other small fixtures. It measures 4 inches (12cm) high, 9 inches (24cm) wide, and 7 inches (20cm) deep when completed.
Despite being in the landmark series, it’s one of the easier and more affordable Lego Architecture building sets you can buy. It even includes a couple of adorable miniature double decker busses!
12. Burj Khalifa
Set no: 21055
Release date: 2019
While this is technically a reboxing of a set from back in 2016, it’s still available in some marketplaces despite being officially retired in the US.
It includes a tall, but relatively simple miniature of the tallest building in the world. The finished model measures 15 inches (39 cm) high, 3 inches (9 cm) wide, and 3 inches (9 cm) deep.
That said, it’s probably the least impressive of all Lego Architecture sets, so I wouldn’t recommend picking it up unless you’re a big fan of the building. Newer sets are just much more detailed.
13. The Lego House
Set no: 21037
Release date: 2017
The final Lego Architecture set featured here depicts a very special building. It’s a miniature version of another building made entirely of Lego, appropriately called Lego House.
The real Lego House is located in Billund, Denmark, and it’s an enormous 12,000 square foot house made out of 25 million Lego blocks. This miniature version uses just over 750 pieces, and is a faithful recreation.
Unfortunately, the only way to officially buy the set is to visit the Lego Shop in the Lego House itself. There are usually a few units available on Amazon, but be warned that you’ll pay higher than retail price.
Where to find retired Lego Architecture sets
I’ve listed all of the currently available Lego Architecture kits above, but there are many more that have been retired over the years.
However, in most cases it’s still possible to buy retired sets online, often for the same original retail price. Some sellers were left with crates of these sets after they retired and list them on various platforms online.
The most popular sets, however, are often much more expensive to buy after they’ve retired. At that point they become collector’s items, with a price point to match.
That said, the best place to find discontinued Lego Architecture sets in my experience is Amazon. There are tons of sets on offer, and you have Amazon’s buyer protection for any potentially shady sellers.
I’ve listed a few of my favorite retired sets below, but click the button below that to check out the full list of discontinued Lego Architecture sets on Amazon!
- United States Capitol Building (21030, United States)
- Imperial Hotel (21017, Japan)
- Big Ben (21013, United Kingdom)
- Buckingham Palace (21029, United Kingdom)
- Louvre (21024, France)
Other Lego building sets
If none of the official Lego Architecture sets interest you or you don’t find the building you like, there are still more options to explore in the Lego universe.
In addition to Lego Architecture buildings and skylines, the company offers many more building sets under the Creator series. Like the Architecture series, these models are designed for older Lego fans, with complex structures and very high piece counts.
Here’s a short list of other Lego building sets that might interest fans of Lego Architecture:
- Taj Mahal (10256, India)
- Old Trafford – Manchester United (10272, United Kingdom)
- The Disney Castle (71040)
- Hogwarts Castle (71043)
- Haunted House (10273)
- Assembly Square (10255)
- Downtown Diner (10269)
- Corner Garage (10264)
That’s it for this comprehensive guide to the best Lego Architecture sets available! Do you have a favorite set, past or present? Let me know in the comments below!