Progress: De-constructing Panopticon; General Arrangement of Space.

We have been very, very busy lately so, we finally managed to post about the progress. These are just quick diagrams of how the interiors of the Court are taking shape. The title of the project for now is Deconstructing Panopticon. The idea is to enhance the existing family contact in prisons by gradually breaking down the physical and virtual barriers to help the rehabilitation process and decrease re offending.

… break down the barriers and stigma of punishment

Panopticon derived from the Greek words all seeing. It’s a type of prison that was invented by an English Phylosopher Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The idea was to build a unit with a centre tower from where the guards would observe the prisoners but without being seen. Using similar idea to design a rehabilitation unit for offenders but rather than all seeing from the surveillance and control point of view, it is to make it more transparent to the public and residents of that unit.  Allowing families to visit their loved ones in such units for longer period will hopefully help break down the barriers and stigma of punishment and will hopefully help successful rehabilitation in order to decrease re-offending.

Isolating offenders does not work… There is a new type of prisons that was introduced in 2013 called Resettlement Prison. Most offenders are placed into such prisons and provided with opportunities to work or obtain qualifications. The next stage of breaking down the barriers will be to merge the local community with the rehab unit residents. This is where my project will come in. Current family contact is very limited so this needs to be improved by offering a more enhanced and prolonged contact in a unit closer to the community. Isolating offenders does not work, in fact it is the exclusion from the society and break down in the families that push people to committing crimes. The location of the unit will be in Bridport in Dorset. The project will be dictated by Purple Futures which is a community rehabilitation company, overseen by Interserve and funded by Ministry of Justice. The spaces to be designed so that the emphasis is made on the idea of community, bringing residents together.




This diagram shows the flow of the residents around the space. Building up on the idea of “breaking barriers” this will be applied in the way so that the residents and their visitors will be able to freely move from area to area. It is different to open plan as the spaces will be divided by walls, but they will have interconnected walk ways that would lead people from space to space. Only certain areas such as doctor’s office and a private counselling rooms that will be separated by doors. Accommodation facilities will be situated in a separate quarter of the building and will have very basic interconnecting sleeping units with showers so that residents spend more time in the common areas. The entire space will be organised in such a way so that residents will be able to join in any activities or socialise with others by simply moving around the space without “virtual” barriers.


Section 1 Section 2Glazing for blogStairs and glazing