The Nanterre site is located in a very diverse urban area, surrounded by single-family homes, the large majority from the 60s, and certain industrial buildings. The project aims to reconstruct a form of urbanity and to relate the architecture to the city through several forms: a facade instead of a wall, a more fluid transition between the interior and exterior, distribution of volume that links the various scales. The Nanterre project is unique in that it combines two programmes, each of which houses different target populations. The headquarters of the Penitentiary Services for Integration and Probation of Hauts-de Seine [Services Pénitentiaires d’Insertion et de Probation des Hauts-de-Seine (SPIP)] monitors people under arrest, while the “Minimum Security Area” allows convicted offenders to enrol in a unique detention programme that allows them to leave the penitentiary to participate in a reintegration project, hopefully decreasing repeat offences. Housing these different programmes together is unprecedented.
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