Step Into S.T.A.R. Labs and the Cortex From The Flash (PHOTOS)

Damian Holbrook

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The show’s signature particle accelerator set was inspired by the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest such facility. Of course, THE FLASH’s is on a reduced scale.“It’s quite a small set, about 40 feet by 20 feet,” Harron explains. “The coolest parts are the arches and the colors. It gives you the feeling you’re in a chamber instead of just a room.” Or for some misbehaving metahumans, a prison.

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

“I didn’t want S.T.A.R. Labs to look like just some facility,” Harron says. The team’s central open, airy workspace, called the Cortex, is also quite functional for the crew. “It’s very easy to shoot here,” he notes. And even though the monitors work just fine, “we have a playback team that creates the animation,” Harron reveals. “A guy behind the camera is cueing the changes as the actors touch the screens.”

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

After the pilot was shot, Harron relocated the Flash’s suit to the spot where the Cortex’s doorway had been. “I wasn’t a fan of having the dummy sitting out in the middle of the room,” he says of its original placement. The containment unit has an unmentioned special-effects feature: “We’re [implying] that’s ‘smart glass,’ so you’ll notice whenever someone walks in who doesn’t know Barry is the Flash, it frosts over.” Very cool.

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The built-from-scratch treadmill used to track Barry’s superspeed actually works, says Harron. The contraption is capable of going up to 16 miles per hour and features material from food-processor conveyor systems. “It requires a special-effects operator, so it’s never turned on unless we’re using it,” Harron notes. “That’s not to say I haven’t had a run on it!”

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

In designing the firearms of baddies Captain Cold and Heat Wave, Harron says he aimed for “slightly futuristic but also practical.” For Heat Wave’s weapon, Harron used brass that could be capable of absorbing the high temperatures it emits. Cold’s gun, meanwhile, features a cracked-steel veneer “so it would look distressed—as metal would be at absolute zero.”

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Forget Jitters—the hottest spot in Central City is S.T.A.R. Labs. For that, we can thank production designer Tyler Harron, who gave us the download on what makes the space so, well…flashy!

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