Open Prison Architecture

Design Criteria for a New Prison Typology

L. Vessella ,

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Open Prison Architecture: Design Criteria for a New Prison Typology

About the eBook

As a part of the debate on penitentiary architecture, this book proposes a critical interpretation of the conceptual elements and design approaches involved. This proposal, more than others, may "mend" the relationship between theoretical conception and the actual building practice for a prison. The interpretation is developed from the idea that the architectural project, when it materialises in a built structure, is always the material expression of an abstract idea and of a specific vision of the world which manifests itself through the architectural consistency of the building and of the built spaces. The text presented here focuses on the creation of organisational-functional tools for open-regime minimum security structures and on the identification of architectural solutions in which the residential and domestic features of the structures prevail over the typological and distributive layouts typical of traditional penitentiary buildings. The analysis aims at identifying the main essential principles for an efficient design, such as: the location, size, spatial organisation, typology of housing space, and last but not less important, the rationalisation of the internal flows. The key elements identified are summarised into a series of general design criteria aimed at establishing an efficient relationship between the functional model and the typological structure, as well as between the building and the surrounding urban fabric.
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