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?