After five years of planning and construction, LEGO officially opened its corporate headquarters in Billund, Denmark on March 5. Reflecting the beloved family-owned Danish toy brand, its architects designed a 580,00 sq. ft. campus to encourage productivity and playfulness.
Klaus Toustrup, a partner at C.F. Møller Architects who designed LEGO’s campus, describes it as a “mini-city” with streets, villages, and courtyards for the company’s 2,000 local workers and visitors from LEGO’s approximately 17,000-member global workforce.
Even before the pandemic forced companies to adopt remote work, LEGO planned part of the campus for hybrid teams. They built a “People’s House” with gym, art studios, cinemas, and a health clinic that offers physiotherapy and stress-reduction classes, as well as a communal kitchen where colleagues from various departments can casually meet or decompress after a long day. There are also guest rooms for employees visiting from LEGO’s international offices.
Ultimately, the venue is meant to foster LEGO’s company culture across job functions, departments, nationalities, and backgrounds in a comfortable setting. The recreational facilities are available to the families of LEGO employees.
Decorating a central lobby is a painting that once hung in LEGO Group owner’s Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen’s office: The portrait of a boy proudly bearing his LEGO creations is said to have emboldened the architects to propose a playful approach for the corporate campus.
Of course, it’s not all about play.
LEGO’s in-house anthropologist Anneke Beerkens worked with the architects to find the right mix of spaces for collaboration, socializing, and focused work.
“Employees told us that they wanted the freedom to choose an environment that suited them best for whatever they were working on, but also liked to stay close to teammates,” she explained in a blog post. “We built team ‘neighborhoods’ which are a mix of individual and collaborative workspaces designed to create a caring environment.”
Being in Denmark where caring for the planet is understood as a collective mission, architects infused LEGO’s campus with green features like eco-friendly building materials, solar roofs and self-watering gardens. Office trash is sorted in 10 categories, following a national mandate.