Lego is a unique brand which shaped the childhood of many people and probably revealed the job of architect to more than one person. Lego is also used in office. Personally, I have used Lego to validate an UX of a concept store. Lego is a useful tool for ideation. This allows everybody to conceptualize a future project and generate a debate, which is sometimes indispensable when working with clients.
Lego is currently the biggest Toy brand in the world since 2014. When your brand is a leader of the market like Apple or Louis Vuitton, you must invest in your notoriety. You should talk about your history, and moreover, when your history is based on a novel (thanks too marketing team of course). This is the context of the birth of Lego House in Billund.
The strength of the Lego brand is in this simple plastic brick where everything can be created. This universal brick answers to the creativity of every child. The purpose of this museum is to demonstrate the range of possibility with this famous plastic brick. The project of the Lego House is different from Legoland which is an animation parc. The Lego House is a place for admiration of the Danish brand and revives the nostalgia of adults who might share their pleasure of making thing out of Lego. At the end of visit, they can share this happy moment with their children after a new purchase of this little plastic bricks.
The Lego House is located where the toy brand was born, in Billung, a Danish city of 26 000 inhabitants. This project is designed by Bjarke Ingels, is located near the Legoland of Billung which has been open since 1968. Each year, Legoland of Billung welcomes 2 million visitors. The Lego House is located in the heart of Billung, this place allows the architects of BIG to develop an urban experience and offer the roof area to everybody. After that, some exterior auditoriums were created with the different steps, a recurrent technique used in the projects of BIG.
Architectural design by Bjarke Ingels
Lego House shows the sacred character of brick through a stack of boxes crowned by an explicit form of Lego brick. This Lego brick is a keystone of this museum. In fact, everything began with this plastic brick.
Once in the interior of the Lego House, the visitor dives into a big urban gallery lighted by zenithal lighting coming from the skylights. This room allows for big scopes and is delimited by different public spaces of the program. More exactly, these spaces are the cafe, the Lego store, the welcome desk and the offices. If you are visiting Billung, please note that this space is free, only the upper levels are paying.
The museum is organized around four themes and are identified by colors, which spread above the 2 000 m2 central square. Red represents creativity, blue is for knowledge, green is for community and yellow materializes feeling. The colored aspect is surprising because from the outside, the Lego House is covered with a ceramic white pavement that it looks somber. When the visitor goes into the toy museum, the colors are revealed, once again as you go up the stairs.
The white wall esthetic is present throughout in the interior space. The goal of the architects was to maintain a pleasant and relaxing experience, in particular the people who are still kids at heart. The second purpose is to highlight the color rooms which are more attractive, following the overall signage.
The keystone of the Lego House is an enormous 23m high Lego brick, that houses the Masterpiece Gallery. It is covered by eight big circular skylights. This room hosts a collection of Lego creations loved by fans. The rooftop which is accessible by two stairs offers a panoramic view on the city of Billund.
I wish that this museum wasn’t built in wood. Don’t forget, Lego brand was founded by a carpenter after the fire of his carpentry workshop. Ole Kirk Christiansen, the founder of Lego, began to create miniatures with woodchips. It was in 1924, eight years after the opening of the carpentry workshop. After the fire, Ole Kirk Christiansen began to build pull toys like car and trucks.
Otherwise, in 1949 with the development of a new materials called plastic, Lego began making plastic brick. Keep in mind, Lego spent several years to build to obtain a system which worked. At the beginning, nobody wanted to buy the plastic bricks of Lego. Nothing beats a wooden toy, right? It was necessary to create a universe of Lego and many years for emerging the Danish brand. Lego need to create an imaginary world for this client for work.
The architect Bjarke Ingels chose to build the Lego House with big steel beams totalizing 1 900 tons of steel. This aspect is similar to civil engineering. Nevertheless, these big beams are hided, they permit to draw the limits of the rooms, in particular the central forum. The proportions of the 2x4 Lego bricks are respected in the museum design. The proportions founded in the enamel ceramic panels which cover the walls and the dimensions of the furniture.
Team: Bjarke Ingels, Finn Nørkjær, Brian Yang, Snorre Nash, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Agne Tamasauskaite, Annette Birthe Jensen, Ariel Joy Norback Wallner, Ask Hvas, Birgitte Villadsen, Chris Falla, Christoffer Gotfredsen, Daruisz Duong Vu Hong, David Zahle, Esben Christoffersen, Franck Fdida, Ioana Fartadi Scurtu, Jakob Andreassen, Jakob Ohm Laursen, Jakob Sand, Jakub Matheus Wlodarczyk, Jesper Bo Jensen, Jesper Boye Andersen, Julia Boromissza, Kasper Reimer Hansen, Katarzyna Krystyna Siedlecka, Katarzyna Stachura, Kekoa Charlot, Leszek Czaja, Lone Fenger Albrechtsen, Louise Bøgeskov Hou, Mads Enggaard Stidsen, Magnus Algreen Suhr, Manon Otto, Marta Christensen, Mathias Bank Stigsen, Michael Kepke, Ole Dau Mortensen, Ryohei Koike, Sergiu Calacean, Søren Askehave, Stefan Plugaru, Stefan Wolf, Thomas Jakobsen Randbøll, Tobias Hjortdal, Tommy Bjørnstrup