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The town’s history as the birthplace of Lego left it a legacy that has driven tourism and its economy; Billund is now looking to build upon its reputation with even more attractions in the coming years.
If you visit Billund in Denmark it’s likely because you’re a fan of Lego, the brand synonymous with the area. Ole Kirk Christiansen founded a toy company in the town in 1934, going on to produce the building blocks that would become Lego in 1947. Billund remains the location of the company’s headquarters, as well as the of Legoland theme park. From 2016 it will also be the home of The Lego House.
A vast compound intended to resemble a collection of stacked Lego bricks, the building and its surroundings will cover an area of 7,600sq metres, incorporating exhibition areas, a café and retail units. Located in the centre of Billund, the centre will also feature a public square which will function as a gathering point for the local community; further enhancing its appeal and accessibility, the building will provide public access to several rooftop gardens.
This week’s unveiling of the plans follows April’s announcement that Lego intends to open its own school this summer, part of the company’s plans to turn Billund into the “Capital of Children”. Previous investments by Lego have gone towards the construction of an airport, as well as libraries, churches and theatres.
Responsibility for designing The Lego House was given to Danish architect firm BIG (Bjaarke Ingels Group), whose other projects include the honey dipper-shaped observation tower proposed for Phoenix in Arizona. Denmark is developing something of a reputation for designing attention-grabbing buildings. Designed by local firm 3XN, Copenhagen’s whirlpool-shaped Blue Planet aquarium opened recently, while proposals have also been submitted to build the world’s largest skidome – a vast, snowflake-shaped structure – in the northern Danish town of Randers. Construction of The Lego House is due to begin in 2014 and it is expected to draw 250,000 visitors per year.
The video below shows how Billund’s Lego House is expected to look, although exact confirmation of its interior is yet to be given.