Derived from the Danish phrase leg godt (play well) LEGO is one of Denmark’s most well-known brands. Founded in 1932, the newest LEGO creation, LEGO House, has just attracted a quarter of a million visitors. And late last year we were l ucky enough to be one of them and we shared our experiences in this months copy of The International. Alternatively you can keep reading here.
For those amongst us who have had the misfortune of standing barefoot on a piece of LEGO, the thought of visiting LEGO House in Billund, with its 25 million pieces of LEGO may well be a slightly unnerving one for you.
Built over four years and recently opened in late 2017, LEGO House is the latest attraction from the LEGO empire in Billund. A small town in Jutland more commonly referred to as the home of LEGO thanks to hosting the LEGO factory pumping out the infamous coloured blocks, as well as having around 4000 people from over 60 different nationalities employed. LEGO is Billund.
It’s a 3.5-hour drive from Copenhagen and an oasis for both the smallest of LEGO fans and the AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO).
A house built for LEGO
If you’re a parent, or if LEGO played a role in your own childhood, you’ll be familiar with the unmistakable thundering sound of LEGO blocks being poured out of a box on mass on to the floor. A sound which, without fail, fills Bilingual Backpack Baby (BBB) with glee and myself with a sinking realisation I’ll be the one in charge of putting them back in the box.
So, it was a very familiar sound that greeted us upon our arrival at LEGO House. The almighty sound of LEGO blocks being poured, unannounced, from a large box straight on to the floor in the middle of the entrance lobby. This is a building designed for pouring LEGO on the floor. And to be honest I could barely contain my glee in the knowledge I wouldn’t be the one picking up this medley of LEGO blocks. Welcome to LEGO House indeed – the home of the brick. Or as they are called in Danish, LEGO klodser.
If BBB had her way, she would have been happy to stay sitting in the lobby all day playing with the free LEGO. But thankfully after some coaxing, we managed to move her on through the official gates to begin exploring the 12,000 square metre house with its 4 themed experience zones. Leaving the open public space behind us.
Designed to be the ultimate place in the world to play with LEGO it’s a full sensory experience that encourages the popular Danish approach to education of free play.
It’s easy to recognise that every part of this building has been designed with a strong sense of purpose. Even the building itself looks like a set of LEGO blocks stacked on each other. A design which also allows to you to explore and climb over and up the building (weather permitting).
But while free play and creativity is the main attraction, technology is also used to create a bit of magic for all ages with all visitors being given smart wristbands that double as an entrance ticket. Using this you can record and manage your entire visit, from using one of the storage lockers to taking photos of yourself and your creations. All of which you can download post visit on the LEGO House app.
Technology and imagination also come together in the MINI CHEF restaurant where you have the very unique opportunity to order your lunch by inserting various LEGO pieces into an automated ordering machine. It’s a LEGO code to the ‘robots’ of what to prepare before they serve it in large LEGO boxes with just a tiny bit of help from a small crew of helpful humans.
A billion possibilities (nearly)
Six pieces of LEGO can be configured in one of 915 103 765 ways. That’s just under a billion different combinations to build. A fascinating thought that did make me wonder if anyone really needed more than 6 pieces of LEGO in their life to keep them happy building LEGO?
You get your chance to find out for yourself when you leave LEGO House. Here you’ll have the chance of taking your own bag of 6 pieces of LEGO from the ‘6 Brick Factory’ freshly packaged onsite in front of your eyes. You’ll also have the chance to receive your own unique combination printed on a personalised credit sized card. Just make sure you’re one of the first 915 103 765 people to visit.