The dream of every child (and architect, really) is becoming a reality this fall with the unveiling of the official, life-size LEGO House in Billund, Denmark. Situated near the company’s headquarters, the building, designed by Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is nearing the end of construction and set for a grand opening on September 28.
The design for the 12,000-square-meter [129,000-square-foot] structure was inspired by none other than LEGO’s iconic plastic brick. Textured clay tiles even give the illusion that the building was constructed from actual LEGO bricks. BIG’s proposal was chosen from an international design competition in 2013, and construction started the following year.
In a video by LEGO, Ingels joked that if his firm had been founded with the purpose of building just one singular building, the LEGO House would be it. “No matter what we did, we had to win this competition,” he says. In other words, this is the big project of BIG’s dreams.
Construction progress in Billund, Denmark
Recently, the roof of LEGO House was topped off with a “Keystone” block the same proportions as a 2-by-4 LEGO brick, marking a crucial moment in the construction of the much-anticipated facility. Aerial photos of the project show all 21 white, brick-shaped volumes stacked together to form a highly sculptural structure. Ingels describes them as a “cloud of galleries” that intersect throughout the program.
The project includes a 2,000-square-meter [22,000-square-foot] LEGO Square in the heart of the building and several open roof terraces and playgrounds that people can enjoy. The public also has access to a LEGO store and three LEGO-themed restaurants.
Paid experiences on the inside are organized in four color zones that cater programming to different aspects of a child’s learning. Red spaces spark creativity, while blue areas test cognitive skills. Meanwhile, green spaces engage their social brain, with yellow zones designed to enhance their emotional learning.
The project also features conferences facilities, an exhibition area of LEGO history and a Masterpiece Gallery where fans can exhibit their creations. LEGO hopes to host more than 250,000 people at the facility annually.
“LEGO House is a manifestation of the very essence of the LEGO idea,” said LEGO House General Manager Jesper Vilstrup in a statement. “This will be an amazing place where LEGO Fans, their families and friends can experience — or reexperience — the playfulness of the LEGO universe.”
The news of the project’s race toward the finish line comes in tandem with BIG’s plans to launch its own in-house engineering department. The team is expected to consult on the firm’s most technically ambitious projects. Though LEGO House is one of BIG’s more systematically built structures, the expressive and innovative modular design evokes the same creativity within its users as Via 57 West or Amager Bakke.
Images via LEGO