Dorte Mandrup is transforming Denmark's largest film studio complex

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On the rough, black tarmac between the massive military compounds on the abandoned Værløse Air Base there is seldom a moment of dullness. One day you might see a bright yellow fur coat catwalk towards a deserted control tower. The next day three wailing police cars abruptly brake in the middle of an agitated crowd in front of a giant yellow bricked building.

The Film Station in Værløse has long been the backdrop of fashion commercials and Danish television-drama productions. Located on an abandoned military base, The Film Station houses all kinds of businesses with connection to film- and TV-production. This inventive community will now be transformed by Dorte Mandrup into a large studio complex with offices, folk kitchens, workshops and production studios of all sizes and become a new creative destination outside of Copenhagen. 

"To get the opportunity to develop a place like The Film Station must be a dream come true for any architect. It is a place filled with a unique history, raw details and architectural quality. I am very much looking forward to collaborate with Thomas Kristensen and Anders Engelbrecht who are both very ambitious and imaginative developers," says Dorte Mandrup.

Evoking inherent potentials

Thirteen years ago the two experienced film makers Thomas Kristensen and Anders Engelbrecht fell in love with the giant hangars, wide concrete roads and beautiful, scenic surroundings at the former Værløse Air Base. Here is room for grand gestures, endless imaginative play and resounding noises. 

The task will therefore be to strengthen the qualities of the military base – rather than polishing them – through transformations and by adding new architectural layers to the existing qualities. With this development we want to evoke the inherent potentials of a giant aircraft hangar or a compact F-16 bunker, making it an active part of the film community.

Green pockets on the pavement

The project is a gradual development of the 17,9 hectare area over the next twenty years. The first step will be to connect the area with a new film market that will act as a gathering point for creatives working in the area and at the same time attracting visitors from near and far. To create light and space around the future square, an existing enclosed yellow brick building will be removed. From here creativity will buzz from the studios and the nearby streets and alleys. 

Small, green pockets will create new green urban spaces on the paved military base – including two planted stairwells that will strengthen the connection between east and west. To the south bustling activity will sound from a new event venue in front of the giant Hangar 7.

All this is only the first steps in the development of Denmark's largest film studio complex. Over the next twenty years The Film Station will accommodate and connect all parts of the film world – from education to production. 

Photos: Filmstationen A/S