Returning to work after Christmas and New Year can be a bit of a struggle. To help beat the January blues in the Viking office, we decided to ask our team to decorate their desks with fun and creative things. However, we were totally unprepared for what they did: not content with simply bringing in small decorations, our creative team decided to build a giant castle – right in the middle of the office.
In total, the castle used a
staggering 500 pieces of waste cardboard, with the four members of our team staying
late to covertly construct the castle throughout the night. No one in the
office knew about this project until it was finished and to capitalise on this,
the team set up a secret camera to film their colleagues’ reactions as they
arrived at work.
The team also documented their construction process progress throughout the evening:
When we all got into the office after New Year, we had an email from our boss containing one simple task: do something to decorate our desks to help the team get over the January blues. Being the creative team, we decided we needed to do something special. So we decided to build a giant cardboard castle in the office.
Before we could plan anything we needed to know if we could get the materials without anyone knowing. We wanted to make sure that everything could be recycled afterwards, so we used all of the waste cardboard we could find from around the office and then hid it in a storeroom. Luckily we managed to not look too suspicious!
After we sourced our materials, we drew up some simple blueprints so we had a good idea of how to join everything together. This also gave us a good indication of how big the castle was actually going be.
After we had determined the size of the castle, we decided on the details. The first thing we wanted was the bricks, as without bricks the walls would have looked flat and boring. We swiftly calculated the amount of bricks we would need: roughly 500. Then we opted for our own flag, because every castle has to fly a flag!
We started with the walls. Each wall was created using two panels, both 2m x 1m in length. These panels were then attached in an overlapping manner to add strength to the walls.
We attached these panels using glue guns. You’ll be surprised how quickly you get through the glue sticks and in total we used around 80.
Occasionally the power cables on the glue guns proved to be a little short. If you are going to try this yourself, invest in some extension cables.
When we started making the bricks, we realised we needed a production line, otherwise we weren’t going to finish in time to surprise everyone the next morning. Two of the team cut and prepared the brick panels while the other two stuck them on the walls. In the end, we made over 480 bricks.
One of the hardest tasks was working out how we would make the towers stand up, as they were over 3m high. Cue an ingenious folding idea!
Once we had the bricks attached, we could start to stand everything up.
Some of the walls needed a little help until we could get them secured properly.
Then, as dawn began to break, we added the drawbridge. Now, all we had left was the flags.
The Final Castle
In the end, construction took around seven hours, with planning and prep taking a further two hours. We were tired but it was all worth it when we saw our colleagues faces the following morning.
Lastly, here we are at work, in our lovely new creative space.
If you are feeling inspired by what we built, why not try making your own? We would love to see what you can do over on Twitter at @Viking_Chat! If you are worried about the amount of time it takes to build something like this, try using a selection of storage boxes as they are easy to stack, just like bricks. You can also reuse them! You could even use Really Useful Boxes to make something more akin to an igloo! The choice is yours!