Filsø Visitor’s Center / Schønherr

Architects: Schønherr
Area: 4960 m²
Year: 2018
Photographs: Carsten Ingemann, John Colin Seymour, Schønherr, Martin Schubert
Manufacturers: iGuzzini, Annebergs Limtræ A/S, KG Beton, Krone Vinduer A/S
Main Contractor: Otto Christensen A/S
Project Lead: Rasmus Stougaard
Design Responsible: Rikke Juul Gram
Project Manager: Rasmus Holm
Engineering Company: Fuldendt
Client Advisor: Niras
Restoration Consultants: Natur Rådgivningen v. Niels Riis
Client: Naturstyrelsen, Aage V. Jensens Natur Fond
Contributers: Realdania Byg A/S
City: Henne
Country: Denmark

Filsø Visitor’s Center, designed by Schønherr, is located near Henne on the Danish west coast. Part of the “Places in the Landscape” campaign, the center serves as a hub for nature routes and a recognizable starting point for visitors. The center includes an access road, educational facilities, a landscape bridge, and parking. The elliptical bridge allows close interaction with Filsø’s landscape. The center also features a school building with classrooms, outdoor educational areas, and amenities. Since its opening, it has attracted over 100,000 visitors and significantly improved the local ecosystem.

Filsø visitor’s center / schønherr

The visitor’s center at Filsø is part of the “Places in the Landscape” campaign, initiated by Realdania as part of the “The Place Counts” campaign. This center was created through a collaboration between Realdania, The Danish Nature Agency, and Aage V. Jensen’s Nature Foundation, which also funded the educational facilities and school building. The goal of the visitor’s center is to serve as a central hub for the numerous nature routes in the area and to be an easily recognizable starting point for visitors to Filsø.

Situated near Henne on the Danish west coast, Filsø was originally one of Denmark’s largest lakes. However, between 1852 and 1951, the area was drained and repurposed for agriculture along the impoverished coastal region. In 2011, Aage V. Jensen’s Nature Foundation acquired the area with the aim of restoring it to its original state for the benefit of both local residents and tourists.

The visitor’s center includes an access road, educational facilities, a landscape bridge, and a parking lot. The access road winds through a spectacular and protected landscape, leading to the parking lot and the large ellipse-shaped bridge. This bridge anchors the building and reveals the expansive horizon through its reflection in the water. From the bridge, visitors can experience Filsø and its vast landscape. The continuous, panning movement allows visitors to get very close to the water’s surface and the unique nature of the area. The ellipse shape emphasizes the seamless movement from arrival to departure. Designed with a solid seating edge, the bridge provides spots for visitors to rest and enjoy the view. The school building anchors the ellipse and contrasts the lake, following the curved structure of the visitor’s center, integrating naturally into the landscape’s movement. The building’s vertical shutters reflect the nearby forest.

Filsø visitor’s center / schønherr

Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by a sheltered information area with a view of Filsø. Inside the building, there are toilets, a technical room, a kitchen, and a classroom featuring large windows, a fireplace, and niches for storage and resting. The classroom offers direct access to the schoolyard, which serves as an outdoor educational area and equipment storage. The schoolyard has two exits, one to the north and one to the south, with an outdoor kitchen located to the north. Since its inception, the project has been highly successful, attracting over 100,000 visitors in the first year—a significant number for such a small municipality. Moreover, the nature restoration has been remarkably successful, with the registration of 242 bird species, 14 fish species, and 62 aquatic plant species, representing a substantial improvement from the monoculture that dominated the lake area until 2012.

Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: 6854 Henne, Denmark

Leave a Comment