For one week in January 2020 the Lego x Walala House of Dots dashed a brilliant splash of colour against the mid-winter grey of London's Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross.
The amazing post-modern house was designed by Artist Camille Walala and her creative team alongside Christopher Bradley, Architect and Director of CMTB Works, teaming up for a Lego global press launch in January 2020.
Walala’s signature style of vibrant colours and geometric patterns can be seen across 5 themed rooms, which are spread out across eight shipping containers and two floors.
Inside visitors could design their own patterns and bracelets ahead of the Lego Dots launch, and explore the living room, kitchen, bedroom and Disco room before leaving on a slide!
The simplified shapes denote a creative use of the Lego products from the giant modular facade right through to the 8,000,000 individual pieces which made up the bespoke furniture, also designed by Walala Studio.
What was the brief?
Lego wanted to build a wall for the new product which they could encourage children to create and add their own Dots designs too. Camille Walala and her Creative Director Julia Jomaa took one look at the initial brief and said - we want to build a house!
What were the key challenges?
The house had to be built within 3 days, which was all the time permitted by the retail district. Early wind calculations meant that roof-mounted shapes were eventually deemed unsafe, as the retail district sits at the base of tall apartment blocks which cause a wind-tunnel effect to act on the structure. Late on the second day of building, the Architect had to make changes in order to make the design work and get the sign off from the consulting engineer.
Deliveries could only take place on site between 6am-9am, to allow the resident retailers to open and trade without being bothered by the installation....as the house was built in the middle of a working retail environment.
It also happened to rain for the first 2 days which made it wet and impossible for the carpenters working on the facade, and additional teams of workers had to be drafted in to finish on the final day.
What were the solutions?
In order to overcome the wind tunnel effects the Architect re-shuffled the designed facade to ensure no risk was made to the public, and then worked it out with the carpenters as the facade was erected.
Who are the clients and what's interesting about them?
Lego are one of the largest most well known brands of children's toys, but they rarely launch a new product. The Dots range were due to be launched 2 years ago but held back because of technical problems with the system, so this time the Lego brand couldn't afford for anything to go wrong with the launch.
How is the project unique?
Lego have never done a temporary activation or pop-up building before, so they placed a lot of trust in the Artist / Architect team to create an experience which tied into the values of their family run business. The company have now had several requests from different Lego regions to host the house, like Texas, Hong Kong and Moscow! Eventually there are plans for the hugely successful design to settle permanently at Lego World as an attraction.
Key products used:
Lego and Lego Dots
What were the solutions?