D6.11 | Press release - Egedal Maskinfabrik A/S

25 fantastic
coop danmark
in albertslund
In the 1960s Denmark began to prosper, and as retail trade increased, many
goods were needed to fill the shelves of the new supermarkets. This required large
warehousing space, so in 1963, FDB, the Danish Consumers Co-operative Society,
built a state-of-the-art central warehouse and head office on greenfield land in
Albertslund. The nearest neighbours were the railway, motorway and approach
road to Copenhagen. Here, at a workplace the size of a small village, a new efficient
storage and distribution system was introduced.
fold here
25 // coop danmark in albertslund
The Coop Danmark
Roskildevej 65
2620 Albertslund
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The history of FDB/Coop Danmark
The Coop’s history is closely linked to FDB and the Danish
cooperative movement. In 1866, Rev. H.C. Sonne had a bright
idea and established Thisted Arbejderforening, which is
Denmark’s oldest cooperative society. Many similar organisa­
tions followed suit, and in 1896 these individual coops merged
for the purpose of obtaining the best goods for their members
at the lowest prices by buying in bulk and later through own
production. In 1897, FDB established its own coffee roasting
plant and factories for chocolate, sugar and tobacco. From the
1940s, FDB was also turning out furniture, industrial design
and poster art at a level that gave rise to Danish classics such
as Børge Mogensen furniture.
With the merger of FDB and HB (the metropolitan coop) in
1971, the focus was shifted away from the production of
own-brand goods to distribution and commercial operations.
In 2002, FDB divested the business of running the shops, and
Coop Norden was established. Coop Danmark is now owned
by FDB, which has 1.6 million members.
Head office
At Røde Vejrmølle Industrikvarter, the industrial area, Coop
Danmark’s administration and warehouse buildings occupy
almost the entirety of the industrial area south of Roskildevej.
The Coop buildings, designed in the functionalist style by
FDB’s resident architects, are of the high architectural quality.
From 1908 to 1964, FDB’s administration and warehouses
were located on Njalsgade, Amager. In 1955, FDB acquired the
site at no. 65 Roskildevej. More space was needed, as were
better communications for the growing goods distribution.
Albertslund had plenty of space and in 1964, relocation went
ahead. Town planning in Albertslund Municipality had a unique
history. In the 1960s, development of Albertslund Syd (the
south side of Albertslund) was the biggest construction project
in the whole of Denmark. Not only that, it was an experiment in
urban planning, housing design and applied building techno­
logy. Albertslund is one of the first satellite towns in the metro­
politan region’s first regional plan, the ’Finger Plan’ from 1947.
The man behind both plans was professor of architecture
Peter Bredsdorff
Central warehouse
The central warehouse in Albertslund is one of Coop
Danmark’s seven central warehouses. Originally, the ware­
house was built on American lines following an FDB manage­
ment trip in 1952 to the US to study American self-service
shops, called ’supermarkets’, and their vast warehouses. This
trip was subsidised by Marshall Aid and was a turning point for
FDB. On its return, FDB planned its seven new central ware­
houses, two of which were built by 1959, followed by this one
on Roskildevej in 1964. The warehouse is single-storey to
allow fork-lift trucks to drive in directly with pallets. The emplo­
yees call the warehouse „Manhattan“ because of its arrange­
ment in blocks, like the dead-straight streets of Manhattan.
fold here
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Coffee tower and icon
Most Danes are familiar with the iconic motif of the ’Cirkel Girl’
depicted on vintage Cirkel-brand coffee tins or the coffee tower
on the approach road to Copenhagen. The ’Cirkel Girl’, as she
is known, has been an icon for FDB for years. Created in 1955
by the artist Aage Sikker Hansen, in 2004, the trademark motif
received the Danish Design Centre’s design classic award:
„The beautiful black girl in profile on coffee from Brugsen
receives the design-classic award for having brought art into
the everyday life of coffee-drinking Danes for 49 years. The
Cirkel Girl is enchantingly lovely and the design so simple.
She still functions perfectly as intended half a century after
her birth.“ The coffee tower is no longer in operation.
Blokland flats
The Blokland flats were built in 1967 to house the many
employees at the central warehouse and head office.
Designed by FDB’s own architects, this long, three-storey
block contains just under 300 2-3-bedroom flats. An early
off-site construction, it was built from prefabricated modules.
The flats are primarily family housing, but include 8 sheltered
units for elderly persons. The property also has its own
child-care institution.
FDB website
Kroppedal Museum
Kroppedals Allé 3
2630 Taastrup