Massive ‘Lego House’ To Rise In Toy’s Danish Hometown Billund

 @MarkJohansonIBT
on June 10 2013 5:41 AM

There’s no doubt that many an architect created his first masterpiece with a green slab and a handful of bold-colored Lego bricks. Now, one of the world’s most respected architecture teams, Bjarke Ingels Group (or BIG for short), will have the opportunity to construct a 30-meter (100-foot) Lego house out of giant replicas.

“The Lego House,” as it will be known, will rise in the toy’s hometown, Billund, Denmark. If you’re a Lego fan, you know that Billund is already home to Lego headquarters, the Lego factory (where 90 percent of the interlocking plastic bricks are manufactured) and the original Legoland theme park, which opened in 1968.

Ole Kirk Christiansen founded the company in this small town in 1934. Since then, Billund has quietly blossomed into Denmark’s biggest attraction outside of the capital Copenhagen. The Lego Group has invested in the construction of an airport, libraries, churches, theaters, and, most recently, its own school that fuses traditional teaching with Lego’s brand of play-centered learning -- all to turn Billund into what it calls the “Capital of Children.” The Lego Group figures that when the Lego House opens in 2016, it'll lure an additional 250,000 visitors annually -- a major boon for this town of 6,146 residents.

“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,” Hans Peter Folmann, the marketing manager responsible for the Lego House, said in a statement.

“Architect firm BIG has designed a building that encapsulates what Lego play and Lego values are all about,” Folmann added. “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.”

The complex will include several rooftop gardens, 7,600 square meters (82,000 square feet) of exhibition areas, a café and, of course, a Lego store.

“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,” noted Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, current Lego owner and grandson of Ole Kirk Christiansen. “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.”

Construction of the building is slated to begin next year, and if BIG can follow all instructions and doesn’t lose any bricks, the Lego House should be complete for an opening date in 2016.

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