Gallery: New Danish Prison Ward Will Feature Animal Husbandry

When you think 'prison', raising sheep and growing veggies isn't really something that comes to mind, but that's exactly what C. F. Møller is proposing for a new Danish state prison on island of Falster. The Scandinavian firm recently won the award to design the new facility, which is set to replace an outdated state prison in Vridsløselille. Star-shaped prison wards, mentally conscious design, animal husbandry, gentle landscaping and sports facilities will be integrated to provide a stimulating environment able to promote the re-socialization of inmates.

C. F. Møller recently beat out Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Henning Larsen Architects and Friis & Moltke and Arkitema to design the new Danish State Prison, which is part of a large long-term restructuring plan of the state prison system. The new facility is based on urban planning concepts and will house 250 inmates. The layout was inspired by a small village nearby the prison and will include a network of streets and a central square. A six meter tall wall will form the perimeter around the entire complex.

In the center sits the administration building, occupation building and cultural center with library, religious worship room, sports facilities and a shop. Within a five-point star-shaped prison, individual arms will radiate out from the center – four for regular inmates and one for high security risks. The overall warm tones of gray and green will help calm the inmates and provide a soothing atmosphere. Inmates will be able to take part in various leisure and working opportunities, like animal husbandry, cultivation, and sports with the hopes that these activities provide stimulation, confidence and respect for society.

Partner in C. F. Møller, Mads Mandrup, says of the design, “The inmates spend all their waken hours in the prison environment, and the architecture within the prison walls is therefore an extremely important part of their lives and experiential universe. That is why we have deliberately created a very varied and stimulating environment of different spaces and landscape features – hopefully this will contribute to the resocialisation of the individual and to create renewed confidence in the community and mutual respect for society as a whole.”

What do you think? Is society better off overall to engage, educate and encourage prisoners to be better members of society, or is prison supposed to be a punishment for crime?

+ C. F. Møller



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  1. Corban December 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    To the question of crime, there are two approaches:

    – Preventive: Make sure no one wants to commit a crime
    – Curative: Make sure, once a crime has occurred, that the criminal is no longer a threat to society.

    Norway’s Halende and Bastoy Prisons also take a curative approach. But if you reduce the cost of crime, this will not reduce the incidence of crime. I feel these are just proofs of concept, and aren’t scalable.

  2. Holcim Awards December 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Great project and I love the creative ideas of integrating the building into the landscape along with the tending of animals. A really fantastic concept.

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