BIG's designs for Lego
visitor centre unveiled


News: toy brand Lego has revealed the design by Danish studio BIG for a visitor centre based on its famous plastic bricks.

BIG's Lego House resembles a stack of Lego bricks rising from a public square in the company's home town of Billund, Denmark.

Inside, the bricks will house exhibition spaces, a café and a shop, while several roof top gardens and sheltered spaces beneath the building will be accessible to the public.

"The creative use of the Lego brick shape is a true visualization of the systematic creativity that is at the core of Lego play," said Peter Folmann, marketing responsible for the Lego House in a statement on the company's website.

BIG's designs for Lego visitor centre unveiled

Construction is due to begin in early 2014, with the inauguration scheduled for 2016.

We reported on the news that BIG and Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) had been chosen to design the experience centre for Lego earlier this year and BIG previously built a model of a proposal for some organically-shaped towers from 250,000 Lego bricks.

676 miniature Lego towers featured in an exhibition at last year's Venice Biennale promoting the inclusion of architecture in European Union policies, while Sebastian Bergne built a greenhouse from Lego during the London Design Festival in 2011

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BIG recently proposed a redevelopment of a convention centre in Miami based around a large public square, which is competing with a rival design by Dutch firm OMA.

Here's the full statement from Lego:

The LEGO Group today revealed the design of the experience center "The LEGO House". The center, which will be built in Denmark, illustrates the systematic creativity of LEGO bricks and is expected to attract 250,000 visitors annually.

When the LEGO House opens in 2016 visitors to the house in Billund, Denmark will enter a building that resembles gigantic LEGO bricks combined and stacked in a creative way to create an imaginative experience both outside and inside. In the experience center guests can expect hours full of active fun while at the same time engaging in an educational and inspirational experience – everything that LEGO play offers.

Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, LEGO owner, explains: "The LEGO House will show the past, present and future of the LEGO idea and I am certain it will be a fantastic place, where LEGO fans of all ages and their families and friends will get a wide range of unique LEGO experiences. It is our belief that LEGO play fosters innovative thinking, and the LEGO House gives us an opportunity to make it very tangible what LEGO play offers and how it stimulates children’s creativity and learning."

The project has been under way for more than a year and today the design of the house was revealed.

"Architect firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) has designed a building that encapsulates what LEGO play and LEGO values are all about", says Hans Peter Folmann, Marketing responsible for the LEGO House and adds:

"The creative use of the LEGO brick shape is a true visualization of the systematic creativity that is at the core of LEGO play, so we believe that this is the right look for the LEGO House. And it simply looks amazing."

The LEGO House will be approximately 30 meters tall, and there will be public access to several roof-top gardens from the outside. The building will offer visitors a total of 7,600 square meters of exhibition areas, a café, a unique LEGO store and a large public square.

"It is our wish that the LEGO House is used by both visitors and the citizens of Billund; the birthplace and home town of the LEGO Group. For this reason a large part of the building – 1,900 square meters - will be a covered square with free access for the public, and we hope it will be a natural gathering point for people living in Billund as well as visitors. We do not know what specific activities will be in the house,” says Hans Peter Folmann and adds:

"We are very ambitious with the LEGO House – It is our hope and mission that a visit to the LEGO House will be an experience you will never forget, no matter if you are a long time fan or just want to know more about what LEGO play stands for."

Construction of the building is expected to begin in early 2014 and the LEGO House will be inaugurated in 2016.

The LEGO House:
Will cover an area of 80 by 100 meters and it will be approximately 30 meters tall.
Will feature a total of 7,600 square meters – including exhibition areas, a café, a LEGO store and a public square.
Will be built at the center of the town of Billund, and many entrances will open up the building to the surrounding area.
Will be built in collaboration between KIRKBI A/S, the LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group, but the LEGO Group will handle the daily operation of the LEGO House once finished.

  • Max

    Only they could make it for Lego! Square + square + diagram + square + some trees etc…

  • Johannas

    Is Bjarke Ingels the new Michael Graves? PoMo Lives!

  • Silky Johnson

    This explicit diagram as building is the new POMO. Time for a disciplinary shift anyone?

  • Damian

    The animation is impressive. Wow!

  • hum

    So arbitrary.

  • edub

    I love LEGO, and I love BIG, but this kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth… just not good.

  • Nasidas

    Looks like Bjarke Ingels shat some BIG bricks.

  • shane

    Catal Huyuk just got a facelift and a lovely sloped seating feature too. I wonder if the slope follows the angle of the sun? I just can’t tell without the blue and red arrows! How are we meant to follow the designers intentions without them?!

  • brandfles

    Nice looking building, would definitly want to visit it when realised. At the end of the clip it makes me think of Centraal Beheer building by Herman Hertzberger.

  • Matt

    Unoriginal and inefficient. A sprawling mess of a building.

  • max

    Only BIG Could make something like that! Something for LEGO: box + box + diagram + box + some trees etc.

  • Justin

    The renderings and animation are top notch but the building itself leaves little to be desired.

    • daisy

      That’s my feeling too.

  • boooo

    White mass of stacked volumes? Check! Some kids in the renders to show that it’s for LEGO? Check! Oh look it’s Friday already!

  • deedee

    James May did the best Lego House ever!! Nobody can top top that. His house was pure fun for kids and adults. But this?

  • MrJ

    Nice render. It’ll be interesting to visit the real thing in 2016.

  • john graham

    The stepped area needs to have disability access. You could do it with criss-crossing ramps going up. As it is now it’s an immoral structure that excludes people.

  • Bob Usually

    What's that Pop? Oh, you've eaten yourself.

  • T

    Define irony: the guys that invented the modular bricks cannot design their building, hire an architect to do just that with their bricks (with step-by-step animation and diagram walkthrough… oh, an instruction book).