Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Holmsheidi Prison in Reykjavik, Iceland by ARKÍS Architects
March 17th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: ARKÍS Architects
The design of the prison is based on three key elements. First, is a main guard station as a central cylindrical form washed by daylight from a surrounding skylight. The skylight and guard station rise up from the building as a smooth cone, contrasting the buildings sharp edges. The second set of elements is internal courtyards forming the heart of each cell block. The courtyards let daylight into the cell blocks, allowing the possibility to spend time outdoors and in some cases; prisoners enjoy views into the courtyards.
The third set of key elements is a protrusion from each individual cell. The protrusions serve the dual purpose of granting each prisoner view and daylight, while limiting the cone of vision so that it is not possible to see from one cell to another. The protrusions are simultaneously an expression of the prisoner’s will to live again outside the prison walls and the enclosure keeping the prisoner inside.
The proposal is intended to deliver quality architecture in line with the competition brief’s goals for architectural qualities, and that form and materials fit well to the site and its natural surroundings. Moreover, the design is focused on creating an environment which grants the prisoners the possibility of betterment.
Inside the prison those goals are met by creating clear and well defined boundaries for each division of the operation, with well daylit and accommodating interior and exterior spaces, good possibilities for connections to common services and with a centrally located main guard station which shortens communication routes and increases oversight.
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