Building a Lego Brick House
Last year we published a series of articles about one of the mainstays of the construction industry – the humble brick, without which the building trade wouldn’t exist. The research we carried out to bring our reader all the fascinating information we could find about bricks was incredibly interesting and we keep coming across more fun facts about these commonplace building blocks. One of the latest stories we’ve come across is about the new Lego House in the Danish town of Billund.
Now, Lego is the type of brick that everybody is familiar with – for kids around the world, Lego blocks are one of the most versatile toys available, promoting learning in several areas. Handling Lego bricks and using them to create all sorts of structures, vehicles, scenarios and toys enhances hand-eye co-ordination. Lego bricks encourages spatial awareness, help to develop pre-mathematical skills in small children and stimulate creativity, nourishing the imagination. In short, Lego bricks are one of the most versatile tools in the repertoire of teachers the world over.
We’re all familiar with LegoLand here in the UK, they’re a chain of family theme parks that are owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments, a British theme park company which operates on a global stage. The UK’s LegoLand is at Windsor and there are parks at Billund in Denmark, in California, Florida, Germany, Dubai, Japan and Malaysia, with more parks planned in other countries in the future.
Denmark’s Billund is the original LegoLand which is located next to the original Lego factory and opened in 1968. The Lego House is the latest addition to the Billund LegoLand and it was designed by BIG, a company of architects led by a young Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels. The brick building was designed without breaking the brick module observed by the meticulous Danes that you should never cut a brick to fit with the design, rather configure the design to fit the brick. The bricks are actually ceramic tiles clipped on to a steel frame and is the ultimate display of the iconic Lego brand.
At two of the corners, large blocks seem to melt, cascading downwards to form steps that lead to the colourful terraces that offer a view across the town. A row of skylights resembles the circular studs of Lego bricks and provide views down inside the building which features three dinosaurs, howling in pain, all having stepped on a Lego block! Young visitors can wrestle with a shark surfacing through the floor of one of the roof terraces. They can surf on wobble boards, jump across rubber steps and thrill on the swings. Lego Mindstorm robots can be challenged to save the woolly mammoths stuck in Arctic ice, a school of fish can be released into a digital aquarium or you can use one of the on-site recording booths to make your own stop-animation to click together racing car components into a vehicle that can be launched down the ramps.
The 13 galleries in the Lego House are designed to appeal to kids and adults alike, mixing the traditional brick based Lego structures with interactive tech that brings this favourite children’s building blocks toy right into the 21st Century, securing Lego’s reputation as one of the best value for money toys on the planet.