Lego-lovers will undoubtedly flock to the Lego House in Billund, Denmark, this fall. Architect Bjarke Ingels of the firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) said during the museum’s planning stages, “It will be the best museum ever.” If you love free creation with unlimited supplies and all things Lego, you may agree.
Early reports on the plans for the Lego museum-in-the-making began to surface in 2013. The Lego House has actually been in construction for seven years and is now set to open in Sept. 2017. The Lego House is 130,000 square feet and is comprised of 21 enormous Lego-like stacked white bricks (each made up of many traditional bricks). Below, view an early concept and the current colorful design on the Lego House site:
The Lego House, AKA “Home of the Brick,” is aptly built in Billund where the Lego was invented. The family-owned Lego Group was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen. The term “lego” comes from squishing together the words in the Danish phrase “leg godt,” which means “to play well.” Lego Group had the world’s largest toy company revenue in 2015 at $2 billion.
The Lego House is designed to offer a wide range of play and learning opportunities—some free and some ticketed. The ground floor hosts a conference area, three restaurants which promise “tasty food experiences with a Lego twist,” a Lego store (of course) and a 20,000-square-foot public play square called Lego Square. These areas are open to the public along with the rooftop terraces which hold a big keystone Lego block, complete with the traditional protruding studs that hold the little toy pieces together.
If you purchase a ticket, you will have access to the second and third levels of the museum, which hold five play zones, a Masterpiece Gallery and a History Collection.
The play zones are color coded and each offers a specialized playful learning focus. The site explains that,
When children are playing, they are having fun, experimenting, tinkering, messing around and making mistakes. In other words, they are learning. The process of playing and learning while having fun is a holistic balance of five overlapping competences.
These competencies are: creative (red zone), cognitive (blue zone), emotional (yellow zone), social (green zone) and physical play and de-stressing (outdoor areas). The red zone will likely be very popular- the Lego House encourages visitors to build to their heart’s desire and promise they won’t run out of blocks!
In the blue zone, guests’ logic and problem-solving skills are tested; robot design, urban city planning and building and test driving “gravity-defying vehicles,” are a few of the possible activities.
The Masterpiece Gallery is a rotating, curated display of original hand-built Lego creations from around the world. Lego House specifically expresses gratitude for the creativity of their adult fans on the site, explaining “more than 360,000 adults are members of a LEGO community for sharing and discussing creative building ideas.”
The History Collection offers multimedia immersion into the story of the rise and evolution of Lego and in the Lego House basement a collection of 500 of the “most iconic LEGO sets ever produced” is available for guests’ perusal.
BIG is based in Copenhagen and New York and is a self-described “group of architects, designers, builders and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, interior design, landscape design, product design, research and development.” They seek to create “pragmatic utopian architecture” and this seems very in-tune with Legos, which offer both accessible functionality and infinite possibility.
The Lego House museum invites guests of all ages and expects around 250,000 annual visitors, according to Curbed. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time and are sold for specific entry times. Once your ticket is scanned, guests will receive a wristband. Lego House says visits will typically last between three to four hours on average and that guests should remember to save time for exploring the free public areas as well.
If one is in need of an immediate Lego adventure, the Lego Group also runs multiple amusement parks called Legoland in partnership with the British company, Merlin Entertainments. Fans of Lego art can check out artist Nathan Sawaya’s “The Art of the Brick” Lego-based large-scale art exhibition, which is currently on a world tour. Examples of Sawaya’s work are below.