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The LEGO Group
The LEGO Group

Take a Virtual Peek Inside Denmark's New LEGO House

The LEGO Group
The LEGO Group

Grown-ups who wanted to live inside the LEGO-brick homes they built as a kid can now simulate the experience by visiting the Danish toy brand’s brand-new LEGO House in the company's hometown of Billund, Denmark.

As My Modern Met reports, the experiential playhouse opened its doors to LEGO loving fans of all ages on September 28, following seven years of planning and a four-year construction period. Danish architecture firm BIG designed the nearly 130,000-square-foot playhouse’s exterior to resemble a stack of 21 plastic bricks, with multi-colored rooftop terraces.

The LEGO House contains an official LEGO history museum as well as a Masterpiece Gallery area, featuring elaborate LEGO designs by fans around the world. It also features four color-coded playrooms—each designed to nurture a specific facet of play and learning—and three eateries, including the Mini Chef family restaurant, where customers can build their own orders out of bricks and have the real-life thing served on a conveyer belt by dancing robots.

“With LEGO House, we celebrate creativity and the strength of learning through play,” LEGO owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen said in a statement. “When they play, children learn the basic skills that they need, such as creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving abilities.”

The LEGO House is expected to have over 250,000 paid visitors per year, although fans can visit the site’s rooftop playgrounds, shop in the LEGO store, or dine at any of its restaurants without paying an entrance fee. Access to the house’s experiential zones costs around $31, and visits must be booked in advance through the LEGO House website due to space restrictions.

Check out some photos of the LEGO House below:

Facade of the LEGO Group's new LEGO® House in Billund, Denmark
Facade of the LEGO Group's new LEGO® House in Billund, Denmark
The LEGO Group

Aerial rooftop view of the LEGO Group's new LEGO® House in Billund, Denmark.
Aerial rooftop view of the LEGO Group's new LEGO® House in Billund, Denmark.
The LEGO Group

LEGO House visitors browse the Masterpiece Gallery, a display of works by members of the brand's artistic community.
LEGO House visitors browse the Masterpiece Gallery, a display of works by members of the brand's artistic community.
The LEGO Group

Oversize LEGO model sits on a LEGO House terrace in Billund, Denmark.
Oversize LEGO model sits on a LEGO House terrace
The LEGO Group

Children play near the Brick Builder Waterfall at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark.
Children play near the Brick Builder Waterfall at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark.
The LEGO Group

Children build LEGO flowers to plant in a special LEGO meadow at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark.
Children build LEGO flowers to plant in a special LEGO meadow.
The LEGO Group

Kids visiting the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark, play with LEGOs in the World Explorer section, which has three themed islands filled with LEGO mini-figures.
Kids play with LEGOs in the World Explorer section, which has three themed islands filled with LEGO mini-figures.

The LEGO Group

At the MINI CHEF family restaurant, located inside the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark, customers build their own order out of LEGO bricks  and have them served by dancing robots.
The MINI CHEF family restaurant, where customers build their own order out of LEGO bricks and have them served by dancing robots.
The LEGO Group

[h/t My Modern Met]

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History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

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The Force Field Cloak
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Design
This Glowing Blanket Is Designed to Ease Kids' Fear of the Dark
The Force Field Cloak
The Force Field Cloak

Many kids have a security blanket they bring to bed with them every night, but sometimes, a regular blankie is no match for the monsters that invade their imaginations once the lights are off. Now there’s a glow-in-the-dark blanket designed to make children feel safer in bed, no night light required.

Dubbed the Force Field Cloak, the fleece blanket comes in several colorful, glowing patterns that remain invisible during the day. At night, you leave the blanket under a bright light for about 10 minutes, then the shining design will reveal itself in the dark. The glow lasts 8 to 10 hours, just long enough to get a child through the night.

Inventor Terry Sachetti was inspired to create the blanket by his own experiences struggling with scary nighttime thoughts as a kid. "I remember when I was young and afraid of the dark. I would lie in my bed at night, and my imagination would start getting the best of me," he writes on the product's Kickstarter page. "I would start thinking that someone or something was going to grab my foot that was hanging over the side of the bed. When that happened, I would put my foot back under my blanket where I knew I was safe. Nothing could get me under my blanket. No boogiemen, no aliens, no monsters under my bed, nothing. Sound familiar?"

The Force Field Cloak, which has already surpassed its funding goals on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, takes the comfort of a blanket to the next level. The glowing, non-toxic ink decorating the material acts as a gentle night light that kids can wrap around their whole body. The result, the team claims, is a secure feeling that quiets those thoughts about bad guys hiding in the shadows.

To pre-order a Force Field Cloak, you can pledge $36 or more to the product’s Indiegogo campaign. It is expected to start shipping in January 2018.

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