Lego Tranquil Garden

  • David Steere
  • Nanoblock/Lego MOC obsessive
  • David_Steere
  • updated 3 wk ago

It has been some time since I reported on a building/lighting project here. But, the lovely new LEGO Tranquil Garden inspired me. There is a wonderful, heavily illustrated, rave review at Jay’s Brick Blog which includes this fabulous photograph of a traditional tea ceremony laid out in the Pavilion. That review and this elegant image convinced me to proceed and ponder the question of lighting. It didn’t hurt that a friend on the East coast built and loved the model, too.

Michael Psiaki and Carl Merriam designed the Tranquil Garden model and produced an excellent manual with very clear building steps. See more at Jay’s Brick Blog.

The 1,363 bricks are carefully layered for strength and artistic purposes. Since I decided to light the interior of the Pavilion and the five stone lanterns—not sure why stone lanterns would have lights in them but I went ahead any way—I needed two lighting methods. For the stone lanterns, I once again went the non-Lego route of drilling through bricks and plates to allow wires to pass from the top to the underside of the model. This became quite tricky to follow the paths of the LED light wires through so many layers. Note the red arrows … and the great Koi fish decals!



The Brickstuff hardware included five Pico LED lights, a nine-port expansion adapter, and a coin cell battery pack. I had to make some minor adjustments to the height of the stone lanterns to prevent the LED bulbs from being crushed.

The Pavilion above the water and housing the tea ceremony is a minor miracle of construction. I decided to light the structure from underneath the roof by using this great product:

This tiny unit fit beautifully at the top of the elegant interior.


Here is one build photograph showing the roof of the Pavilion, the gray stepping stones, and the eye-catching, smartly-designed, red bridge.

One of the lovely characteristics of this Tranquil Garden model is the modularity of the trees and certain decorative elements. These can be moved around due to their cube-shaped roots which can fit into any of the square openings on the base of the model. I tried to place such elements so as not to block the “lighting” nor the opening to the Pavilion. I was also much taken by Jay’s suggestion that the Kimono Girl minifigure is a great addition. Instead of "where's Waldo," the following shots in daylight and at night allow you to contemplate...tranquilly..."where's Setsuko?"  You can view my entire Google Photos gallery here.








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