The town of Horsens in Denmark are in the process of converting the town image from a city known for its local prison to a town where creativity and culture is thriving. The prison (FÆNGSLET) was shut down in 2006 and has since been used for concerts and events. Metallica, Aerosmith and Dolly Parton have all played at the unique venue.

I was contacted by Nicolai Carlberg from Carlberg|Christensen. They needed an image that could be used as inspiration and as a tool to engage with politicians and other interested parties for the future vision of the prison.

Nicolai Carlberg
Ethnologist & Partner

(Working sketches at project start up)

What was done and why

Two full reports about the future of the prison would accompany the image. I was handed these reports to read through and get inspired from. Needless to say, the start up material and preparation was great and ideas started flowing.


Nicolai came prepared with elements that the image should communicate. Here are some of the key ones:


  • The image should illustrate a vision and not reality.
  • It should show a selection of the many opportunities and ideas that the facilities could be used for (based on the two reports).
  • The viewer should be able to get a glimpse of the life inside the buildings via a single section cut (dollhouse effect).
  • Lots of life and people using the many different activities in the area.
  • The image should leave the viewer dreamy, evocative and inspired.


During our meetings we discussed sketches and ideas. We quickly agreed upon that a single section wasn’t going to cut it – no pun intended – due to the multiple buildings scattered around the huge area.


My recommendation was to go back to the initial sketch, getting a bird’s-eye view of the entire complex and cut through selected building volumes to get a glimpse of what they could be used for in the future.

(The final image – Before/After)


(Crops from the full resolution image of 7000x3500px)


The final view was chosen as it exposes all the buildings and spaces in a way that allows for different activities to happen all at once.


Making everything in 3D allowed for testing numerous different compositions effectively and having a better idea of the end result.


With the whole project being a vision of what’s to come, there were endless possibilities to try out. Had we relied on traditional hand drawing this project would have taken considerably more time and the flexibility would’ve been lost.


By doing it digitally, it was possible to use an online review system where the client was able to get access to and add comments, markings and feedback to the different revisions. This worked very well and the image has now been sent to The Mayor of Horsens and all the members of the city council.