It's official! Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG has been commissioned to collaborate with Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) and COWI to design the first public LEGO® museum in the company's hometown of Billund, Denmark. The "LEGO® Brand House" and "experience centre" is intended to compliment the non-public "LEGO® Idea House", which is also located in Billund.
Bjarke Ingles, founder of BIG stated: “It's going to be looking at LEGO® from all its different aspects—LEGO® as an art form, its cultural impact. When we were doing the research for it [the LEGO® house], we realized, if you would consider it just an art museum, you would be able to fill it with so much user content of such a high quality...it is one of our great dreams at BIG that we are now able to design a building for and with the LEGO® group. I owe a huge personal debt to the LEGO® brick, and I can see in my nephews that its role in developing the child as a creative, thinking, imaginative human being becomes ever stronger in a world in which creativity and innovation are key elements in virtually all aspects of society.”
More on LEGO®'s BIG commission after the break...
Ingels is the ideal candidate for such a project, being Danish and notably playful and adventurous in his designs. No stranger to LEGO®, Ingels has previously wowed AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO® - although Ingels prefers to call them 'super-users') with his 250,000-brick LEGO® Towers model for the Storefront for Art and Architecture in 2007.
Ex-CEO of LEGO®, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen has previously talked about his vision for the LEGO® brand house. "It will be somewhere where people can enjoy active fun, but at the same time it will be an educational and inspirational experience - everything that LEGO® play offers."
Expected to break ground in 2014 and open within the next few years, Ingels says the LEGO® Brand House "will be the best museum ever". Around 250,000 annual visitors are expected.
Ralph Appelbaum of RAA states: “We are thrilled to be part of creating the LEGO® house that will be devoted to the builders of tomorrow. Playing, learning and creating with LEGO® group's international team of architects, thinkers and builders is a cherished commission for any designer.”