Product Idea |

Modular Shopping Building With Working Elevator

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For my first modular building I wanted to create something that would be compatible with the existing LEGO modular buildings, but also have some unique interactive play functionality. I came up with the idea of having a working elevator which can move up and down from floor to floor, and working elevator doors on each floor which slide open from the middle just like real ones!

This got me thinking about buildings with elevators, and I settled on the idea of a shopping centre with 3 different shops (hardware store, record store and sports store) and some nice mini-builds such as an ATM, arcade machine and vending machine.

Figuring out the design for the elevator car and how to make it move smoothly up and down the shaft was tricky, and required quite a bit of prototyping. The sliding door mechanism on each floor was also a challenge, because I wanted both doors to move in opposite directions when turning a single dial, so I’m really happy with the final result.

By adding an elevator instead of stairs, the building is accessible to all minifigures, including those who suffer from mobility issues. As a result, I decided to add an entrance ramp at ground level to make this the first fully wheelchair accessible modular building.

For the building layout, I was inspired by shopping centres in Japan which typically have a different shop on each floor and giant signs hanging on the outside, and for the style I tried to create a converted warehouse look.

The finished model contains exactly 2999 pieces!

Play functions
  • Compatible with existing LEGO modular building system, on a 32x32 base
  • Working elevator operated by turning the handle on the roof, which moves the elevator car up and down the lift shaft
  • Sliding elevator doors on each floor, operated by turning the dial above the doors
  • Removable roof and floors for easy access to the shops and elevator lobby interiors
  • Roof section above the elevator shaft can be removed independently for easy access to the elevator car without taking apart the rest of the building
  • Access hatch at the bottom of the elevator shaft for easy access if you drop something down there!
  • Elevator car can be easily disconnected from the lift mechanism
  • Elevator car roof can be easily removed to access the inside

Features and details
  • Brick built shop signage including a giant saw, record player and footballer’s leg!
  • Hardware store with paint, hand tools, power tools, ladder and building materials
  • Ground floor elevator entrance with ATM, phone booth and plant
  • Record store with record racks, listening station with record player and speakers
  • 1st floor elevator lobby with arcade game
  • Sports store with table tennis table, punching bag, basketball hoop and other sports gear
  • 2nd floor elevator lobby with water cooler and drinks vending machine
  • Roof with elevator mechanism and vegetable planters
  • Rear of building with access ladder, balconies, dumpster, climbing plant and elevator maintenance panel with power switch
  • Bus stop with bench and bin
  • 6 minifigures, including a Granny with her wheelchair, her Grandson, a young sporty girl, and 3 shop owners

Thanks for checking out my model, I hope you like it enough to add your support. Please feel free to share it on social media or with anyone you think might enjoy it. Thank you!