Reinventing the Future of Play: BIG’s LEGO House opens in Denmark

Published on November 14, 2017 | by Archipreneur
LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group | © BIG, Photo by Kim Christensen
Welcome to our projects series where we present benchmarks of urban living – self developed by architects and creative city makers. This week we want to present you the LEGO House by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

Did you too realize you have a passion for architecture when building your first houses with LEGO bricks? With LEGO House BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and LEGO now brought the toy scale of the classic LEGO brick to architectural scale, forming vast exhibition spaces and public squares that embody the culture and values at the heart of all LEGO experiences.

Designed by BIG and COWI, LEGO House is an experience hub for LEGO fans of all ages, as well as an architectural landmark and a significant step towards the city’s goal of making Billund the Capital for Children. The construction of the 12,000 sqm LEGO House commenced in 2014, replacing the former City Hall building with support from three generations of the LEGO family and Billund City Mayor Ib Kristensen.

LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
Due to its central location in the heart of Billund, the 23 m tall LEGO House is conceived as an urban space as much as an experience center. | © BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan
LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
The colorful rooftops are not visible from the ground. | © BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan

21 overlapping blocks are placed like individual buildings, framing a 2,000 sqm LEGO square that is illuminated through the cracks and gaps between the volumes. The plaza appears like an urban cave without any visible columns and is publicly accessible, allowing visitors and citizens of Billund to shortcut through the building.

Interior of the LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
LEGO square on the ground level |© BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan


“LEGO house is a literal manifestation of the infinite possibilities of the LEGO brick. Through systematic creativity, children of all ages are empowered with the tools to create their own worlds and to inhabit them through play. At its finest – that is what architecture – and LEGO play – is all about: enabling people to imagine new worlds that are more exciting and expressive than the status quo, and to provide them with the skills to make them reality. This is what children do every day with LEGO bricks – and this is what we have done today at LEGO House with actual bricks, taking Billund a step closer towards becoming the Capital for Children.” – Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG

The LEGO square is energized by an urban character, welcoming locals and visitors to the café, restaurant, LEGO store and conference facilities. Above the square, a cluster of galleries overlap to create a continuous sequence of exhibitions. Each gallery is color-coded in LEGO’s primary colors so wayfinding through the exhibitions becomes a journey through the color spectrum.

The first and second floors include four play zones arranged by color and programmed with activities that represent a certain aspect of a child’s learning:

Interior of the LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
Red is creative, … | © BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan
Interior of the LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
… blue is cognitive, … | © BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan
Interior of the LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
… green is social, … | © BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan
Interior of the LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
… and yellow is emotional. | © BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan

Guests of all ages can have an immersive and interactive experience, express their imagination, and not least be challenged by meeting other builders from all over the world. The top of the building is crowned by the Masterpiece Gallery, a collection of LEGO fans’ beloved creations that pay tribute to the LEGO community.

Interior of the LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
The Masterpiece Gallery is made of the iconic 2×4 LEGO brick and showcases art beneath eight circular skylights that resemble the studs of the brick. | © BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan

Atop the Masterpiece Gallery, citizens and visitors can get a 360° panoramic view of the city. Some of the rooftops can be accessed via pixelated public staircases that double as informal auditoria for people watching or seating for performances.

LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
© BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan

The History Collection at the lower level is where visitors can experience an archival immersion into the LEGO company and brand’s story.

LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
The Vault is where children and AFoLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) can witness the first edition of almost every LEGO set ever manufactured. | © BIG, Photo: Iwan Baan

LEGO House is expecting to attract 250,000+ visitors annually.

Ground level of the LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
Ground level children’s square | © BIG
Galleries level of the LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
Galleries level | © BIG
Roofscape of the LEGO house by BIG - Bjarke Ingles Group
Roofscape | © BIG

Location:

Billund, Denmark

Project Data:

  • Architect: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Partners in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Finn Nørkjær, Brian Yang
  • Project Leader: Brian Yang
  • Project Manager: Finn Nørkjær
  • Project Architect: Snorre Nash
  • Project Architect, Facades: Snorre Nash
  • Client: LEGO
  • Collaborators: COWI, Dr. Lüchinger+Meyer Bauingenieure, Jesper Kongshaug, Gade & Mortensen Akustik, E-types
  • Floor area: 12,000 sqm (129,166 SF)

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