Can you build a LEGO house without any bricks?
Here’s an interesting challenge; is it possible to create a LEGO house without using any LEGO bricks? If you weren’t allowed to use normal system bricks but were allowed to use plates, tiles, etc. would it be possible? Now before anyone thinks ‘this is easy, just use bricks from another brand’ I don’t mean replacing LEGO bricks with an imitation product - what I’d like to work out is could you build a LEGO house without using bricks that are one or two studs wide. Basically if it’s a standard system brick that’s at least three plates in height then you can’t use it.
Most LEGO houses are built out sturdy, reliable bricks interwoven with different techniques to build walls, roofs and chimneys. In my everlasting tenure as a LEGO builder I have made countless buildings with one and two stud wide bricks because that’s exactly what they’re designed for. The bricks are purposefully designed to make buildings ten floors tall with flying buttresses and a helipad whilst holding a rigid shape so that little Timmy’s creation doesn’t collapse under its own weight. So what would happen if you took away the most vital part of any LEGO building? How would you create walls, build a roof or create floors inside?
At the beginning of 2016 I had a go at making a building where two of the walls didn’t feature any bricks just to see if it was possible. In the video below you can see that I used Technic bricks inserted into the base of the building to run up the inside of the wall and provide studs that I could attach a facade to. The long Technic bricks were attached in the floor by other Technic bricks and simply pinned together with a black high friction pins. Now before you say ‘this is cheating; you’re using bricks’ I’m kinda not. You see Technic bricks aren’t the classic system bricks that have solid sides, the holes in a Technic brick make these pieces lift arms, beams, etc. so aren’t classified as system bricks. To me at least they are fair game.
In the video you see how difficult it is to get everything lined up right because the Technic holes leave an awkward gap at the bottom of the building that I cannot resolve. When you maneuver Technic bricks to a vertical position like this the beams give you a gap that doesn’t comply with the mathematics of the LEGO system and therefore doesn't have a perfect solution. Despite that fact this is essentially one solution to make a building without bricks because other floors can just rest on something protruding from the Technic bricks. Each floor can rest on pins coming out of a Technic brick and the entire floor can float inside the building.
Another, arguably easier solution to the ‘no bricks in your building’ challenge is to use SNOT bricks. Bricks where studs aren’t on the top exclusively and have them on the sides of the bricks as well. Again this isn’t cheating down to the fact these are not your standard system bricks because they have additional features.
At the bottom of a pillar start with the plate that every fan of LEGO should be able to name off by heart; the Plate 2X2X2/3 W. 2. Hor. Knob or 6052126 for short. This plate when combined with the SNOT brick 1X1 W. Knob (4558886) creates a vertical two by two studded surface for you to start building with. To build up the pillar add two plates between each SNOT brick and do this repeatedly for as high as you need to go. Eventually you will reach a height that works for you and the side of the pillar will be covered in useful studs that you can attach plates & tiles too.
Both of these designs will give you a vertical set of studs that you can attach plates and tiles to make exterior walls while providing a sturdy frame to your building. The exterior walls can be made from plates, tiles, slopes, etc. and simply hang from the pillars which will give you a plethora of vertical studs to play with.
These are the two solutions that I’ve managed to come up with but there are more that I’d like to experiment with. Let me know what other designs you can think of in the comments section below or contact us on social media by using the various links below.