Lego Greenhouse

LEGO UK commissioned the award-winning designer, Sebastian Bergne, to create a public installation using the iconic bricks, as part of the London Design Festival 2011. Entitled the "LEGO Greenhouse", this large-scale installation will be on display in the North East Piazza, Covent Garden, the West End's premier retail, cultural and entertainment district, from 15th to 25th September 2011.

The LEGO Greenhouse is the first fully functioning greenhouse built entirely from LEGO bricks. The walls, the floors, even the earth is LEGO bricks. The plants and vegetables growing inside are however, entirely real.

Drawing inspiration from Covent Garden's history as London's original fruit and vegetable market, the pitched roof glasshouse installation will take up residence outside the iconic Market Building in the high-profile North Piazza directly facing James Street, the main gateway into the Piazza.

Since its first interlocking brick was launched in 1949, LEGO products have become more popular than any other toy in history. LEGO bricks, by their very nature, are all about design and creativity, stimulating imaginations and inspiring the builders of tomorrow. The interlocking principle with its tubes makes it unique and offers unlimited building possibilities. With about 3,900 different elements in the LEGO range, plus 58 different LEGO colours, all LEGO elements are fully compatible and six eight-studded LEGO bricks can be combined in 915 million different ways.

Covent Garden has collaborated with the London Design Festival for four years and is a key destination within the Festival's calendar. In addition, the neighbourhood has a rich history in delivering free, world-class cultural content on the Piazza and surrounding areas having previously collaborated with Tate Modern and Somerset House and on exhibitions from the likes of Sam Taylor Wood and Banksy.

Industrial designer, Sebastian Bergne, has run his own design studio in London for 20 years. Having generally designed consumer products including lighting and furniture, Bergne's LEGO creation uses the iconic bricks to demonstrate the possibilities of LEGO bricks in a public space. Inspiration has been drawn from Covent Garden's design heritage and cultural history as well as the design community in London itself, reflecting the overall Festival programme.

In daylight, the structure looks very much like an ordinary suburban greenhouse dropped into a new environment. Yet at night, it assumes another character entirely. It is transformed into a magical box, glowing and lit it seems, by the life of the plants it contains.

Though a temporary installation, the LEGO Greenhouse's functionality hints at the possible potential of LEGO bricks to bridge the gap between toy and useable construction for the real world.

Sebastian Bergne comments, "It's been a pleasure to be involved with this project for LEGO UK and Covent Garden. What instinctively appealed to me, was that I would finally have the chance to live out a childhood dream and build something huge and usable out of LEGO bricks.

"As with the majority of my work, I enjoy taking a material or process and pushing the boundary of what can be done with it. This time we have created an interesting juxtaposition of a natural environment growing in an almost digital, mass-produced LEGO structure, and it makes you look at LEGO bricks in a new way.

"In my work, I love to make something special from the ordinary, and I hope that's what has happened here. It's an everyday function, made of a material we know, in an ordinary environment, but together they make something extraordinary and I think it is going to be quite magical."

Bergne has worked closely with the LEGO Build and Technical Teams and Covent Garden to realise the project, with the final design built and installed by Duncan Titmarsh, the UK's only LEGO Certified Professional.

Plants and vegetables will be supplied by Indoor Garden Design (; lighting will be provided by LED Tape (

The LEGO Greenhouse will be exhibiting in the North East Piazza, Covent Garden, WC2 from 15th to 25th September 2011, as part of the London Design Festival 2011.

Description by London Design Festival 2011


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