Danish State Prison by CF Møller


New Danish State Prison by C. F. Moller Architects

Danish architects CF Møller have won a competition to build a new state prison on the island of Falster in Denmark.

New Danish State Prison by C. F. Moller Architects

Laid out like a small village, the proposal will integrate various work and leisure facilities alongside green spaces, all linked by a network of streets with a six metre perimeter wall enclosing the prison.

New Danish State Prison by C. F. Moller Architects

Administration buildings, a library, a religious worship room, sports facilities, a shop and a central square will sit at the heart of the complex.

New Danish State Prison by C. F. Moller Architects

There will be five separate star-shaped prison blocks located on the outskirts of the facility, one of which will be high-security, where up to 250 prisoners will be housed.

New Danish State Prison by C. F. Moller Architects

Construction is due for completion in 2016.

New Danish State Prison by C. F. Moller Architects

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All our stories on CF Møller »

Here's some more information about the project

The winning proposal for Denmark’s new state prison on the island of Falster: C. F. Møller Architects has won the competition to build a new, closed state prison on the island of Falster.

The prison is uniquely designed as a small village and integrates several landscape features, among other things animal husbandry, within the perimeter wall.

New Danish State Prison by C. F. Moller Architects

Click for larger image

The new state prison for approximately 250 inmates is designed as a low, urban structure, centred round the various leisure and working facilities, which are connected via several streets and a central square.

The design creates an urban environment, interacting with the landscape on both sides of the six-metre tall perimeter wall. For this compact, urban structure means that there is also left space for natural and cultivated areas, areas for animal husbandry and for the integration of sports facilities in the landscape within the perimeter.

New Danish State Prison by C. F. Moller Architects

Click for larger image

Varied and stimulating environment

Mads Mandrup, who is architect and partner in C. F. Møller and responsible for this project, states: 

"The inmates spend all their waken hours in the prison environment, and the architecture within the prison walls is therefore an extremely important part of their lives and experiential universe. That is why we have deliberately created a very varied and stimulating environment of different spaces and landscape features - hopefully this will contribute to the re-socialization of the individual and to create renewed confidence in the community and mutual respect for society as a whole."

In the centre are an administration building, an occupation building and a cultural centre with library, religious worship room, sports facilities and a shop. Radiating outwards from here are the prison blocks - four ordinary block wings and one high security block wing.

New Danish State Prison by C. F. Moller Architects

Click for larger image

Each individual building in the total complex has its own identity. Overall, the complex is in a warm, grey shade of brick. Variation is provided by, amongst other things, the occupation building, which is crystal-shaped and faced with perforated metal plates in green shades, and the cultural centre, which is round, covered with glass and ringed by green slats. 

Dynamic, star-shaped perimeter
With its corners and variations, the six-metre tall, star-shaped perimeter wall creates a dynamic sequence which gives a less restrictive appearance by providing a sense of dialogue with the outside world.

C. F. Møller Architects has won the competition in collaboration with the engineering company Rambøll Denmark and in close dialogue with Marianne Levinsen Landscape, furthermore the design company aggebo&henriksen and the working environment consultants company CRECEA have contributed.

Eight teams participated
Eight teams were prequalified for the competition.

The other architectural companies participating were Arkitema, schmidt hammer lassen, Lundgaard & Tranberg, Erik Møller Arkitekter, PLH Arkitekter, a team of both Kjær & Richter and aart and a team of Henning Larsen Architects and Friis & Moltke,

The jury consisted of a number of expert judges, representatives of the Muncipality of Guldborgsund, representatives of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the Danish Palaces and Properties Agency, and the Danish Prison and Probation Service.

See also:


Prison by
Guillermo Hevia García
Opera and Cultural Centre by C. F. Møller Ferry Terminal by
C. F. Møller

Posted on Friday January 7th 2011 at 10:23 am by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Justin

    The architects are forgetting this is a prison not a luxery resort.

  • sander

    i wished my home had so much designer furniture

    some kind of wrong

  • Stephen

    Think i might commit a crime, if i can go to prison there, better than most houses. They dont deserve to be housed in a place like that.

  • oh, tom dixon in jail…

  • ying

    only needs couples of females in the image then its perfect !

  • descene

    interesting project, it would be good to see more articles on these kind of issues

  • designer_g

    Maybe it can work in some countries,
    but I'm polish, and as far as i know, in my country we have some people commiting a crime only because they are homeless or very poor,
    so in that way they can have free shelter and food!

    then i cannot imagine what would happen if we were having such a "prison-resorts"
    i belive many of us would like to have that conditions at home!

  • Rodrigo

    I wish schools were like this…

  • stillunwritten

    I do not agree with you Justin.Whatever luxury offering me means nothing if I do not have my own liberty.
    As architectural vocabulary it is repeated monotonous architecture;serving its function.

  • kle

    I'd kill to be there ;-)

  • LMR

    If someone kills my child I would certainly not be happy if s/he ended up here.
    This jail is not just luxury it is evidence of injustice.

  • Justin

    of a prison. Only taking your liberty away for crimes is not good enough and a practice should realise this in times where prison occupation is at its heights and standards have never been better.

  • pok

    If someone kills my child I would certainly not be happy if s/he comes out and kills again. Rehabilitation is just as important for our society. Where do you see luxury for the inmates in this project anyway?

  • descene

    …an observation more than a criticism

  • GH-O1

    so I guess prisoners now are entitled to good architecture and fancy tom dixon lights?? I'm sure all the victims are ecstatic…

  • Lavish

    twisted & sick.

  • James

    It's a Political Correctness facility.

  • dantz

    -a place to reintegrate them in society-

    sounds great!

    try telling that to a father whose daughter gets raped by some crazy lunatic. This is exactly the problem with 'modern architecture' or 'modernism' in general…the movement does not know when to turn 'idealism' off.

  • Jake

    Lets think about the function of a prison; is it a place to punish criminals, or a place to reintegrate them in society? I like to think the second one holds more value in the long therm, and therefore I have no problem with a prison that has architectural quality

    • alessandro

      It depends on the criminals. There are some whose crimes are too heinous for them to be "rehabilitated."

      I honestly don't think this is a "prison" for criminals. more likely a 6 month resort for white-collars to cool off their heels before they go back to running a different company.

  • islendingur

    Jogging in the sunshine all day. This is life.

  • a dude

    Wow, all the people in the images look so happy!

  • since when did prisoners herd sheep?

    …all it needs is some swan paddle boats on the lake and this place is posh

  • shepherd

    what those sheep did to get inside such a cool prision?

  • Darkbloom

    There is no such thing as a humane prison. When one group of people has complete power over another group there will be horrible abuses no matter how nice the prison is esthetically (see Milgram & Zimbardo). As a designer who has spent time inside a number of prisons as a human rights observer, I can tell you that I could never be involved in the design of such institutions which is why I signed a pledge to that effect issued by ADPSR (Architects and Designer's for Social Responsibility). I know it is different in Europe (I grew up there) but in the States the massive prison industry is a way for Architects to make lots of money off the backs of a corrupt and failed project at the expense of life both "guilty" and "innocent".

    • Jail/Prison Designer

      Architects, Planners, and Designers, as professionals, must address the shortcomings inherent in all building types. Signing the ADPSR pledge is a political statement AND a professional abdication. If you believe that prisons cannot be humane, then you MUST do what you can to improve conditions of confinement. Failure of designers, planners, and architects to do so simply relegates the inmates and staff to prison environments as they now stand, or in the considerable worse condition we will find them in if maintenance continues to be deferred. C.F. Moeller and the other participating firms are to be commended for their efforts in this regard.

  • suyog

    even criminals are human beings ,good to see some work being done at such level,i think it will help them come out of their evil mind.

  • vlad

    if this gets built, people would break in not out

  • MGK

    you are all right but we have to understand that maybe they are going to make this place like a luxury hotel but is not all about luxury it is about freedom so where the hell the person will be he will never feel the freedom , so i think this project will is giving high value of respecting the humanity .

  • smudge

    I think the renders showing people and animals are completely misguided and even slightly offensive. I sometimes wonder how I would go about designing a prison, but this is nowhere near anything I imagined… In a bad way.

  • Don`t know what to say, wish my kids had such a nice school, but they don`t. Someting wrong… It is not about architecture, it is about priorities.

  • rezo

    Looks like airport

  • Quinn

    Look at the American prison system, and google the statistics; something is deeply, terribly wrong with the way we are going about it. Yes, prison is meant to be a place of separation, isolation and going without, a place of strict regimen, but studies strongly indicate that when prisons go about it using at least some of the above-mentioned attributes, the inmate is significantly more likely to leave and be a better person than if he or she had been in a typical American prison. The narrow-mindedness and fear of people saddens me to no end.

  • waton

    @ jake: i'm with you on this one.
    very interesting issue…i'd like to see more projects like this …also follow up storries on projects like this would be interesting in order to see the results.

  • Stijn

    The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members.
    And I doubt there will be a lot of people in there who care about Tom Dixon lamps.

    • Timian

      That sentiment is often attributed to Aristotle, isn't it? I'm so glad you quoted it.

      I'm terribly disheartened by the amount of vitriol revealed in these comments. In civilized societies prisons *cannot* be a means of collective revenge or else those societies will cease to be civilized.

      That so many Americans believe prisons should be oubliettes of mental and possibly physical torture demonstrates to me how vast the intellectual disconnect between society's actions and the inevitable reaction has become.

      American society is rotted through with institutional poverty, ignorance, violence and a lack of opportunities for those already dispossessed. We imprison more people than most of the rest of the world combined, and do so in deplorable conditions. Already marginalized people enter our prison system in disproportionate numbers, are systematically dehumanized, then are spit back out more psychologically crippled than when they entered.

      Either we have a justice system or a system of petty revenge. You must choose between one and the other. The former largely serves as a late stage correction for populations denied adequate resources and opportunities. The latter, however, is little more than a giant factory churning out hardened criminals primed to commit further crimes.

  • xtiaan

    IM amazed to find so many right wing leaning comments here, I thought those with an interest in design would be educated.
    we as a society should be looking at why we produce so many people who end up in prison,
    solve that and we dont need then anymore.

  • Jlen

    Somebody has to design prisons. If you feel so strongly about those institutions then why would you sign a pledge to do nothing about it?

    Surely the best way to have a possitive impact on the issues you talk so firmly about is from an active stand point rather than passive.

  • Greenish

    Dantze – what if the perpetrator of a vicious crime like that had been raped or abused in his own childhood? What if he was crazed on drugs after being introduced to them at 12, as an escape route from a violent family?

    You can never know why people commit crimes, or what has driven them to it. In many ways, if society has failed to keep them from committing such a crime, society has failed, and therefore has a responsibility to keep them from doing further harm and try to help them re-enter society when/if they become ready.

    If you see a prison like this as what it really is – a rehabilitation centre, a psychiatric institution, a learning environment, a way of making people believe they can and should integrate meaningfully with society again – then it doesn't seem offensive to spend money on it.

  • stillunwritten

    It is a shame.I feel shamefull in fact.It is very strange to see people trying judge and moreover punishing a prisoner even they do not know;have any idea who they are etc etc.People have certain anger to them.
    Of course it is hard;maybe impossible to forgive or let someone , who may have treated you badly, walk around simply .But this does not mean that you have to kill as they do.After who is the real quilty one?
    Before you will say;let me explain.I am not the advocate of any of them.Just try to be objective.
    Whatever;here it is an architecture and design web magazine.We are not judges.

  • This is brilliant. Finally more and more municipalities are starting to understand the importance of good architecture to cure and rehabilitate criminals who have ended up on the wrong string of life. Please see the project Rattpsyk Flemingsberg. A project BSK Arkitekter have been working on in Sweden for the criminally insane.

  • ponyo

    looks more like an airport terminal than a prison

  • Cassandra

    To all the people wondering about the sheep. Having animal husbandry/agriculture within a prison is actually very helpful in decreasing tensions within the prison. Spending time with the animals tends to be calming for the prisoners and more importantly, it gives them something productive to do with their time. In addition, the production of the farm (milk, eggs, etc) makes the cost of having the animals about zero.

  • William Thirteen

    strange the number of DeZeen commenters that are visualizing crimes against their own children….

  • martini-girl

    What irony that an architect in the US writes that he signed a pledge not to design a prision (what an absurdity!!) and yet the crime rate for serious crimes in the US is considerably higher than it is for Denmark.

    Whilst Denmark locks away marginally more people per capita for minor crimes (car theft, misdemeaners etc), the US locks away 4 times the number of rapists per capita and 6 times more for homicide.

    Much of my training as a designer covered how a persons environment affects their personality, their character, their moods etc. Why is a prison any different? Any imbecile should be able to see that if you cage prisoners up like animals, then they will have no hope of rehabilitation.

    I personally would LOVE to design a correctional facility. The challenge of designing something so well considered that it could have a longlasting impact on society is something well worth signing a pledge for.