The practice was pipped to the post by Danes Schmidt Hammer Lassen (SHL), who will now take on the £6.5 million project to transform the former Spinning Mill complex.
Backed by the Realdania Foundation, a charitable investment association, the scheme will centre around the conversion of the main mill hall into a theatre, exhibition space and café.
According to SHL, a key feature of its winning design ( pictured) is a 'carpet-like surface' around the buildings which will 'bind all the buildings and functions into a whole.'
The proposals, which were picked ahead of other shortlisted entries by fellow Danes 3XN and by Richard Murphy, will 'retain the large central space and the series of long mill buildings with their high-ceilinged grandeur.'
Although Fretton could only manage a plucky second place in the Vejle contest with his submission ( bottom), his practice is no stranger to success in Denmark.
Last year it won the competition to design the new Fuglsang Cultural Centre - also backed by the Realdania Foundation (AJ 26.05.05) - and is currently working on the Tietgens Grund mixed-used scheme in Copenhagen.