March 06, 2014



International architects to design Lego experience centre in Denmark.
Denmark’s Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) of America will team up with the Lego Group to design the physical home for “The Lego House” in Billund, Denmark.
The name has been decided for the Lego experience centre due to be built in Billund, Denmark. Scheduled to open in 2016, the facility will welcome approx. 250,000 annual visitors and will be called: The Lego House. Construction of The Lego House in the centre of Billund is expected to start in 2014.
”The Lego House will be a place where people can enjoy active fun but at the same time it will be an educational and inspirational experience – everything that Lego play offers. The experience centre will give us the opportunity to show how children learn through Lego play. We’ll be able to combine academic knowledge about the developmental aspects of play with the brick itself – enabling children and their parents to see and feel what Lego play offers. And woven into the situation we’ll be able to relate the story of our company in a dedicated way, reflecting our values,” says Lego owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen.
Two architectural practices have been chosen to design The Lego House: one is a Danish company, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the other an American, Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA).
“In our competitions for the project these two companies had the best understanding of the idea behind the Lego® brick, Lego play and Lego values. At the same time they possess a wealth of experience in architecture and museum design, and I’m looking forward to our companies’ teaming up to produce outstanding settings and exciting experiences for future visitors to The Lego House,” says Hans Peter Folmann, Senior Director, Lego Huset.
RAA is acclaimed for its work around the world on large-scale educational experiences, including US FIRST (home of Junior First Lego League), the London Transport Museum and the Museum of Jewish History and Tolerance Center in Moscow.
"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," says Ralph Appelbaum.
Danish architect company BIG is among other projects known for the Danish Expo Pavilion 2010, the West57th Street courtscraper currently under construction in New York, and the soon to be opened Maritime Museum north of Copenhagen.
“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,” says Bjarke Ingels, founder and partner, BIG.
You may visit Bjarke Ingels’s projects of Kistefos Museum and Phoenix Observation Tower in my blog to click below links.

BIG is a Copenhagen and New York based group of architects, designers, builders and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, research and development. The office is currently involved in a large number of projects throughout Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. BIG’s architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes. Not least due to the influence from multicultural exchange, global economical flows and communication technologies that all together require new ways of architectural and urban organization. We believe that in order to deal with today’s challenges, architecture can profitably move into a field that has been largely unexplored. A pragmatic utopian architecture that steers clear of the petrifying pragmatism of boring boxes and the naïve utopian ideas of digital formalism.

In our projects we test the effects of size and the balance of programmatic mixtures on the triple bottom line of the social, economic and ecological outcome. Like a form of programmatic alchemy we create architecture by mixing conventional ingredients such as living, leisure, working, parking and shopping. By hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, we architects once again find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms. In all our actions we try to move the focus from the small details to the BIG picture.

BIG is led by partners – Bjarke Ingels, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Finn Nørkjær, David Zahle, Jakob Lange, Thomas Christoffersen and Managing Partners, Sheela Maini Søgaard and Kai-Uwe Bergmann.

Information Driven Design
BIG’s design process always starts by identifying the key criteria of a project: What is the biggest problem – what is the greatest potential? Rather than arbitrary aesthetic or stylistic prejudice, all decisions are based on project specific information - Information Driven Design. 
Our effort as architects is sandwiched in the window of opportunity between analysis and implementation. And our influence happens in the translation from information to material. In an attempt to increase our sphere of influence on our built environment, we have established BIG IDEAS. 
BIG IDEAS is an internal technology driven special projects unit, expanding the traditional scope of the architect into the realm of information and material. BIG IDEAS explores new intellectual territory in both the digital and material realm through three specific areas. 
As daylight analysis directly influences the building geometry and as studies of thermal exposure, conditions the building envelope, we are increasingly relying on technical simulations that would traditionally be part of the engineering scope. To speed up the feedback loop between design and analysis, between trial and error, we have internalized the environmental analysis into our own office. Daylight, sunshine, thermal exposure, airflow, turbulence, wind, space syntax and traffic flow are technical simulations we now control to enable ourselves to make designs that are literally shaped by the forces that surround them. We still collaborate with the best technical experts to tap into the cutting edge at the horizon of the profession, but we have found it necessary to educate ourselves to wield the digital tools of design. Not just building information management or digitally aided design but also environmental simulation must become part of our architectural tool kit. 
Our line of investigations from the Shenzhen Energy Headquarters to the Hanwha PV Plant to the Cité du Corps Humain, has provided us with a parametric design engine that allows us to tailor building envelopes and façade geometries to respond to different climate conditions across the globe. Our expanded parametric design tools are helping us start to formulate a vernacular architecture 2.0 through engineering without engines.
On the other end of the spectrum where the design intelligence gets manifested into the material world, we have increasingly encountered that our imagination was limited to what was already on the shelves. Through our collaboration as part of KiBiSi – our design partnership with Kilo Design and Skibsted Ideation – we have explored personal technology, urban mobility and furniture. With BIG IDEAS we feel we can close the gap and really make our interest in product design a literal extension of our efforts in architecture. 
Rather than accepting the inhibitions from the architectural scope starting too late and leaving too early – missing out on both research and production – with BIG IDEAS were are starting a new journey to explore new intellectual territory in both the digital and material realm.
In collaboration with Danish Technical University and Raket Madsen BIG IDEAS resurrected the idea of the giant smoke rings for the Copenhagen Power plant.

Bjarke Ingels started BIG Bjarke Ingels Group in 2005 after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001 and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Through a series of award-winning design projects and buildings, Bjarke has developed a reputation for designing buildings that are as programmatically and technically innovative as they are cost and resource conscious. Bjarke has received numerous awards and honors, including the Danish Crown Prince’s Culture Prize in 2011, the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2004, and the ULI Award for Excellence in 2009. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal awarded Bjarke the Architectural Innovator of the Year Award. In 2012, the American Institute of Architects granted the 8 House its Honor Award, calling it “a complex and exemplary project of a new typology.”
Alongside his architectural practice, Bjarke taught at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, and Rice University and is an honorary professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. He is a frequent public speaker and has spoken in venues such as TED, WIRED, AMCHAM, 10 Downing Street, and the World Economic Forum.
The Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture I Graduation 1999 I DK
ETSAB I School of Architecture of Barcelona I ES