The aim of this design thesis is to explore the potential of the built environment in creating humanizing spaces that can catalyse positive life processes, by analysing the ‘hard architecture’ of the prison model. The paradoxical relationships between punishment and rehabilitation, freedom and control, normalisation and security, are explored.
The project lends a sensitizing physical environment where individuals may nurture a personal will for self-development through their interpersonal relationships in community formations, through associations with nature and through productive work.
The intent is to question some of the established norms in prison architecture in India, by drawing from references of successful new generation models world-over. Crowded living conditions in barracks and scattered organisational approaches are the key factors that come under scrutiny.
The design’s vertical aspiration – self realisation ascending towards TRANSFORMATION — signifies aspects of learning. It is juxtaposed with its horizontal expression – REINTEGRATION – that seeks to connect with the larger community in the prison complex and the outside world.
By creating community clusters, one fosters a domestic scale of living, creating a place where human relationships based on sisterhood may potentially form, and where dignity is lent to the individual.
The wall functions in binary opposition to this so that the promise of community life is met by the requisite restraints of security. Ways of alleviating the impression of this sense of enclosure are sought through integration with the landscape and the sky. By imparting meaning to the wall as an interface, transitions from barrier intense to barrier free zones are enabled.