Greenland Enforces Stunning ‘Humane Prison’ Designed Around ‘Respect & Dignity’



Image via Schmidt Hammer Lassen

Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, now has its own high-security prison, a welcome change after those sentenced for serious crimes had to be transported to Denmark to serve their sentences. The previously relocated inmates now have the choice to transfer back to Greenland, serving their sentence in a quite frankly stunning facility.

The Anstalten Correctional Facility was completed in 2019, overlooking a fjord in the capital. It was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Friis & Moltke with a focus on creating an environment conducive to human behavior, and focused on the central theme, openness.

“Openness, light, views, security and flexibility are the leading values behind the design of the first such facility in the capital of Greenland,” Schmidt Hammer Lassen describes. The project is shaped to blend into its beautiful surroundings, with structures in the form of “blocks” taking shape to fit the landscape’s contours.



Image via Schmidt Hammer Lassen

Burnt sienna steel façades clad in large glass panels afford open views to the mountainous landscapes surrounding the structure. Designed like a small village, the facility is spread out over three levels to fit the site’s slope.

“The contrast between beauty and roughness was a guiding theme in the design for Anstalten,” the architects explained in a statement shared by Dezeen. “We focused on openness, light, views, security and flexibility, and incorporated local, native culture into the design process.”



Image via Schmidt Hammer Lassen

Alongside the inmates’ residential blocks, there are workspaces, educational spaces, sports facilities, a library, a health center, and a chapel.

There are three residential units, enough for 76 people. Each private room is 12sqm (129sqft), and most of them have bar-less windows which allow residents to see over the concrete enclosure wall, and provide a gorgeous open view of the sea. The housing units and other facilities are separated by a walkway, allowing for the feeling of “separation” between home and work, reminiscent of life outside the prison.

Following Greenland’s prison system, 40 of the prison’s cells are closed while 36 remain open. The system allows inmates to continue interacting with their communities and life outside prison while serving their sentence. They can visit their families, too.



Image via Schmidt Hammer Lassen



Image via Schmidt Hammer Lassen



Image via Schmidt Hammer Lassen

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A post shared by Schmidt Hammer Lassen (@shlarchitects)

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A post shared by Schmidt Hammer Lassen (@shlarchitects)

[via Dezeen, images via Schmidt Hammer Lassen] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/414965/Greenland-Enforces-Stunning-Humane-Prison-Designed-Around-Respect-Dignity/

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