Schmidt Hammer Lassen just won first price in a competition to design the Ny Anstalt Correctional Facility in Nuuk, Greenland. Their proposal seeks to create connections with nature and light to bring about rehabilitation, and the prison will be built to conform to the landscape using raw materials like concrete, wood and corten steel. Each prisoner has access to views of the surrounding landscape from their cell and throughout the facility. The designers believe that this connection will reduce physical violence and help heal inmates emotionally.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s winning design for the prison in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland is an 8,000 sq m facility that plays on the contrast of roughness and the beauty of nature. While designing the project, the team focusses on the values of openness, light, views, security and flexibility. “We have designed a project which incorporates the contrast between the rough and the beautiful. Our project matches the unique and beautiful surroundings and supports the focus of the Danish Prison and Probation Service on the balance between punishment and rehabilitation,” explained Morten Schmidt, Founding Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. “The whole idea behind the project is to add qualities to the complex that will enhance rehabilitation and diminish physical and psychological violence.”
The healthy prison consists of five residential units with rooms for 76 inmates as well as work and leisure facilities, spaces for visitors, administration offices and various security and technical installations. The facility will be built from concrete, glass and corteen steel, which are seen as “raw” ingredients in a raw landscape. Each inmate has access to the outdoors and views from within all the rooms. The thought process behind this is that access to nature – watching the clouds, birds, daylight, weather and so on, can aid in rehabilitation.
Images ©Schmidt Hammer Lassen