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12 prisons, from posh to primitive

Posted by / September 26, 2011

The purpose and goals of incarcerating those who have wronged society are touchy topics to say the least, and much of those attitudes can be seen in the architecture of prisons alone. As Steph at WebUrbanist explained, many architects won’t go near this unique niche in their profession, but those who do make some powerful statements as to their culture’s take on what it is to serve time.

Shipping container cells



Reusing shipping containers seems to be all the rage these days and prisons in Australia and New Zealand are jumping on the design bandwagon. While the idea of someone voluntarily living in a shipping container is kind of quirky, critics of these facilities say they are inhumane as well as insecure.

Justizzentrum Leoben Minimum Security Prison, Austria



One inscription in this incredibly luxurious prison in Austria says it all: “Each of the persons deprived of their liberty must be humanely and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human being treated.” The guiding principle behind this facility is that prison should be a place where prisoners are inspired to live a better life, though most of us could do our best and never enjoy designer surroundings like these.

World’s Smallest Prison



With room for just two prisoners, Sark Prison locks up the title for world’s smallest prison and is still used for overnight “guests” from time to time, though the Island of Sark where it’s located does have a more substantial facility elsewhere.

Full story at WebUrbanist.

The psychology behind the architecture.

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