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The Freedom Room is a Low-Cost Micro Apartment Designed by Prison Inmates
There is a large carpentry shop in the High Security Prison in Spoleto, Italy where inmates build furniture for other correctional facilities. Cibic Workshop and Comodo (Comunicare Moltiplica Doveri) teamed up with some of these carpenters to get their input on how to make the most of a 10.8 sq m (116 sq ft) space and make it more livable. In prison, due to limited space and resources, objects often serve multiple purposes. Stools become tables, beds become storage, chairs become gym equipment and more. The goal was to design a compact space that maximizes efficiency, flexibility and livability.
The rectangular Freedom Room features two beds along one wall with drawers underneath and storage above. The opposite wall features a two-chair desk that doubles as work/study/dining space. Storage above holds living essentials and food. Next to that is the bathroom area with a separate toilet room and a sink room connected to a shower. Since there is little privacy in prisons, the inmates felt that the closed-off spaces were critical. The sink and surrounding fixtures were designed to work for hygiene and cooking as well as laundry. The details of the space are really what make it shine – they allow the residents of the room, whether it be a prison, a hostel or an apartment building, to maximize their space. The Freedom Room debuted at an exhibition during the 2013 Triennale di Milano and is an example of how to improve micro-housing on a budget.
Images ©Freedom Room
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