On July 9th, 30,000 prison inmates across California took part in a hunger strike to show solidarity with those incarcerated in Pelican Bay State Prison, a ‘Solitary Housing Unit’ in which prisoners are incarcerated – some supposedly for years at a time – in solitary confinement.
Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) and its founder Raphael Sperry have made it their mission to make sure that architects are not complicit in designing prisons, even going so far as to form a petition asking the AIA to forbid members from designing execution chambers, ‘supermax’ prison facilities or solitary confinement facilities, as part of their statement that “members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors.”
At ArchDaily we have already questioned whether it may actually be beneficial for architects to design prisons, rather than allowing them to be designed by less-trained people who could end up designing a space that is even less humane. Now, an article on Blouin Art Info seems to take a similar position: rather than retreating from the business of prison design altogether, architects should try to encourage prison design that facilitates rehabilitation rather than emphasizing punishment.
Natural History Museum Proposal / Kengo Kuma & Associates + Erik Møller Arkitekter + JAJA Architects
The proposal for the Natural History Museum of Denmark, designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, Erik Møller Arkitekter, and JAJA Architects, focuses on creating a coherent and inseparable experience which mixes the experiences of the conventional museum and the classical garden into a series of remarkable spaces. Its location within the beautiful and historical setting of the city’s botanical garden creates a potential for a museum that is more authentic, more engaging and more open for everyone. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Although often criticized for being especially liberal in its approach to crime and punishment, Norway focuses intensely on ensuring that ”doing time” is done in a dignified way, and inmates’ sentence should be a dress rehearsal for living a life without crime once they have completed their sentence. The Halden Prison in Halden, Norway by Erik Møller Arkitekter is considered to be the world’s most humae prison and it will be the new home for Anders Breivik, the Norwegian right-wing extremist responsible for the deaths of 76 people last week.
More after the break.