CATAWOL Records Modular Building

architecture, CUUSOO, exhibited, minifigure scale, modular, purist, the lego show

This is the very first modular building I’ve designed and built, encouraged by the fact that every other MOC at the time was some kind of modular building (even if they were mostly knock-offs of LEGO’s official models). One variant of modular building I hadn’t seen anyone produce was that of a media company, and additionally there weren’t many examples of original corner buildings.

The design of this modular building underwent three stages before finally being built:

  • Mark 1 was designed when I had very little experience, having coming out of my “dark age”. I was more occupied with the exterior of the building and the contents of each floor, so the internal structure was very messily designed and wouldn’t work.
  • Mark 2 was designed from scratch, this time concentrating on the shape and layout of the whole building, and being more efficient with plates. Following some feedback on the design, Tan was added as a third colour to the building. A fourth floor was also added to include more interior features.
  • Mark 3 was the design that was eventually built and displayed.

The building itself consists of:

  • the ground floor reception area: complete with reception desk, sofa, coffee table and plant feature;
  • the first floor waiting area: with a vending machine and stairs leading up to the second floor;
  • the second floor meeting room;
  • the third floor: with the executive chairman’s office and his own reception;
  • an elevator shaft connecting all the floors.

CATAWOL Records Modular Building was part of my display at The LEGO Show 2011, where it formed part of a street scene of downtown Surething: it was displayed adjacent to Saint Sabe’s Pizzeria.

It had also been submitted as a LEGO CUUSOO/Ideas project, but had only reached 100 supporters after over a year. A Mark 4 version of the building, specifically for the CUUSOO project, had been in the works.

Back story

In the wake of the media crash of 1962, Messrs Tate and Wolseley - two passionate ex-employees of a record label - took a huge gamble by starting an independent outfit. With very little money to their name, they initially operated out of a makeshift office behind Tate's house. A handful of albums, produced with second-hand equipment, were released under "Working LAD Records".

It was after hearing one of these albums being played in a taxi that Mr Cardinal, an investment banker, approached Tate and Wolseley to become a partner. His investment secured a prime location in the then sleepy town of Surething, where the basement was turned into a state of the art (at the time) recording studio.

Together - under the CATAWOL label - Cardinal, Tate and Wolseley changed the face of the music industry, and over a decade transformed Surething into the home of the rich and famous.

The record label has spawned numerous stars in the world of music, including pop icon Bryknii, R&B singer Saima Gaines and teen rock band High School Dropout.


  • I designed and built this MOC without any prior experience or ownership of modular buildings.
  • The name CATAWOL is derived from the word "caterwaul": an accurate description of many a current pop star's singing ability.