News: Danish studio Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and American firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) have been chosen to design a Lego visitor experience centre in Billund, Denmark.
Scheduled to open in 2016, the Lego House will tell the story of the famous Danish toy brand while offering educational and play activities for children and families.
"I owe a huge personal debt to the Lego brick, and I can see in my nephews that its role in developing the child as a creative, thinking, imaginative human being becomes ever stronger in a world in which creativity and innovation are key elements in virtually all aspects of society."
Hans Peter Folmann, senior director of the Lego House project, said BIG and RAA won the competition because they had "the best understanding of the idea behind the Lego brick, Lego play and Lego value".
"At the same time they possess a wealth of experience in architecture and museum design," he added. RAA's work includes the London Transport Museum and the Museum of Jewish History and Tolerance Center in Moscow, while BIG has won competitions to design a cultural centre in Bordeaux and a national gallery in Greenland.
Construction of the Lego House in Billund – also the location of the Legoland theme park – is scheduled to start in 2014.
Here's the full press release from Lego:
International architects to design Lego experience centre in Denmark
Denmark’s Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) of America will team up with the Lego Group to design the physical home for “The Lego House” in Billund, Denmark.
The name has been decided for the Lego experience centre due to be built in Billund, Denmark. Scheduled to open in 2016, the facility will welcome approx. 250,000 annual visitors and will be called: The Lego House. Construction of The Lego House in the centre of Billund is expected to start in 2014.
”The Lego House will be a place where people can enjoy active fun but at the same time it will be an educational and inspirational experience – everything that Lego play offers. The experience centre will give us the opportunity to show how children learn through Lego play. We’ll be able to combine academic knowledge about the developmental aspects of play with the brick itself – enabling children and their parents to see and feel what Lego play offers. And woven into the situation we’ll be able to relate the story of our company in a dedicated way, reflecting our values,” says Lego owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen.
Two architectural practices have been chosen to design The Lego House: one is a Danish company, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the other an American, Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA).
“In our competitions for the project these two companies had the best understanding of the idea behind the Lego® brick, Lego play and Lego values. At the same time they possess a wealth of experience in architecture and museum design, and I’m looking forward to our companies’ teaming up to produce outstanding settings and exciting experiences for future visitors to The Lego House,” says Hans Peter Folmann, Senior Director, Lego Huset.
RAA is acclaimed for its work around the world on large-scale educational experiences, including US FIRST (home of Junior First Lego League), the London Transport Museum and the Museum of Jewish History and Tolerance Center in Moscow.
"We are thrilled to be part of creating the Lego house that will be devoted to the builders of tomorrow. Playing, learning and creating with Lego Group's international team of architects, thinkers and builders is a cherished commission for any designer," says Ralph Appelbaum.
Danish architect company BIG is among other projects known for the Danish Expo Pavilion 2010, the West57th Street courtscraper currently under construction in New York, and the soon to be opened Maritime Museum north of Copenhagen.
“It is one of our great dreams at BIG that we are now able to design a building for and with the Lego Group. I owe a huge personal debt to the Lego brick, and I can see in my nephews that its role in developing the child as a creative, thinking, imaginative human being becomes ever stronger in a world in which creativity and innovation are key elements in virtually all aspects of society,” says Bjarke Ingels, founder and partner, BIG.