New Correctional Facility

Nuuk/ Greenland

Size/ 8,387 m²
Competition/ 2013, 1st prize in restricted competition
Status/ Expected completion Spring 2019
Client/ Danish Ministry of Justice/ Danish Prison and Probation Service
Partner architect/ Friis & Moltke
Landscape architect/ Møller & Grønborg
Full Service Consultant/ Rambøll A/S
Awards/ 2017,WAN Future Projects Civic Award

In the design for the new correctional facility in Nuuk, the contrast between beauty and roughness is a guiding theme. Openness, light, views, security and flexibility are the leading values behind the design of the first such facility in the capital of Greenland. The project matches the unique and beautiful surroundings and supports the focus of the Danish Prison Service on both punishment and rehabilitation. The belief that the physical surroundings have an important impact on human behaviour and the will to collaborate has motivated the client to initiate a project of high architectural quality.

Architecturally the facility is composed of accurately shaped blocks, which in their positioning follow the contours of the rocky landscape. In appreciation of the character of the landscape, the orientation and scale of the project makes the building appear subordinate to its surroundings.

The project consists of five residential units with rooms for 76 inmates, in both a ‘closed’ and an ‘open’ section. The project also includes work and leisure facilities as well as spaces for visitors to the inmates. The design of the residential units offers an experience of the changing daylight and the surroundings.

A panoramic window in the common area carries nature into each residential unit, and the inmates have an unrestricted view towards the landscape from the windows in their cells.

The perimeter's wall is designed to look less threatening than a typical prison wall. And the cells are designed so inmates can see over the wall, to the sea and mountains beyond.

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