Lego has been creeping its way into the architecture market for years now — see their Mies van der Roher and Frank Lloyd Wright models for reference — but they’ve steered clear of building full-scale buildings based on the modular plastic bricks. No longer: today, the company unveiled designs for a visitor centre that will open in 2016. And yes — it’s very much a Lego building.
The design hails from Bjarke Ingels Group, the powerhouse firm that originated in Copenhagen (today, BIG maintains a large New York office to deal with its forthcoming building on West 57th Street in New York). As you’ll see in the video below, the plan is based on a stack of Lego — each containing a different programmatic void — with sculpted rooftops, each offering a different amenity. Inside, exhibits, shops, and play areas are expected to draw a quarter million visitors annually. The building will anchor a public plaza in Billund, Denmark, which enthusiasts will know as the birthplace of the toys — it’s a Lego company town, of sorts.
According to an interview with Architect Magazine, Ingels met with dozens of Lego superusers to conceive of the plan. “I’ve been meeting with these AFOLs [Adult Fans of Lego], and I’ve been learning quite a bit about Lego,” he said. “It will be the best museum ever.” Typical hyperbole from a hyperbolic architect — for reference, check out their plan for a massive corkscrew observation tower in downtown Phoenix. Or their plan to build a huge glass tank atop a World War II bunker. Or… You get the point.
Lego House is scheduled to open sometime in 2016, which is a bit of a tight schedule for a 22,800-square-foot building. It’s safe to assume, then, that they won’t be building it brick-by-brick using tiny plastic blocks. Which, somehow, is kind of a disappointment. After all, it’s not as if they couldn’t.