If everything goes according to plan, a new “experience centre” will open in Billund in 3‑5 years – and will be a special thrill for LEGO Group Owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. For many years, he has wanted to create a place where children and their parents could learn more about the company, its history and values and – especially – about LEGO play.
“For many years, I have experienced great interest in visiting our LEGO Idea House, which among other things houses the historical exhibition of the company. All its visitors have been very excited about the deep experience of the very essence of our company. Many have asked us to share that experience with more visitors from the general public. But the Idea House is not suited for that. It is meant to cater for employees and business relations. But this huge interest gave rise to the dream of a LEGO experience center,” Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen says about the project.
“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. 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.”
The experience centre, which for the moment goes under the working title of “LEGO Brand House”, will be located on the site of the former Billund town hall, and Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen stresses that placing the centre within Billund is important.
“The LEGO Group was born in Billund. We want to help develop and bring activities to the town and make it attractive to its residents and visitors alike – and LEGO Brand House is one of our contributions to the vision of Billund as the Capital of Children,” he says.
KIRKBI A/S purchased Billund town hall in 2011. The original plan was to convert it into a global knowledge centre for play and learning. A new permanent location in Billund will now have to be found, but the knowledge centre will start up its activities in the town hall this autumn.
Work has started
Hans Peter Folmann is responsible for developing the concept together with a number of creative agencies:
“It is much too soon to say precisely what will be in the house, but one example could be an exhibition featuring ‘Play and Learning’ in which children have to use LEGO bricks in various ways – while their parents see how children develop through play. Or an exhibition which challenges the visitor – and provides a sense of how we develop and manufacture LEGO products,” says Hans Peter Folmann.
LEGO CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp also looks forward to the opening of the Brand House – where the LEGO Group can invite the public to take an inside look into the LEGO world.
“We very much look forward to a house that will capture the very core of our company and the LEGO brand and we feel that it will contribute to the activities in the town and support the continuing increase of visitors to Billund,” says Jørgen Vig Knudstorp.
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp expects that LEGO Group employees will be regular visitors to the new centre:“I imagine it also to be a place where employees and their families will visit – a place where everyone can learn more about the company, our products, our brand, and – not least – our values. We hope in this way that it will help to provide an even better environment for employees in Billund. We already have various facilities spread out across the town for the use of employees, and it would be nice if “Brand House”, too, could somehow become part of that environment,” he says.