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Schmidt Hammer Lassen wins contest to design Greenland prison

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[FIRST LOOK] Denmark and London-based practice Schmidt Hammer Lassen has released these images of its competition-winning design for a prison in Nuuk, Greenland

The correctional facility, earmarked for a plot on the edge of the country’s capital, features five residential blocks with rooms for 76 inmates, split between a ‘closed’ and an ‘open’ section. The scheme also includes work and leisure facilities for the inmates as well as visitors spaces and office accomodation for administration staff.

A panoramic window in the common lounge gives views from the facility to the surrounding landsacape and each residential unit will have an unrestricted view from the windows in their cells.


Architect’s view

Morten Schmidt, founding partner, Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects

We have designed a project which incorporates the contrast between the rough and the beautiful. Our project matches the unique and beautiful surroundings and supports the focus of the Danish Prison and Probation Service on the balance between punishment and rehabilitation.

The whole idea behind the project is to add qualities to the complex that will enhance rehabilitation and diminish physical and psychological violence.

Architecturally the facility is composed of accurately shaped blocks, which in their positioning follow the natural contours of the rocky landscape. In our appreciation of the lines and character of the landscape, we create a project which in orientation and scale appears subordinate to its surroundings.

Project data

Architect Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects
Architect Friis & Moltke
Main contractor Rambøll A/S
Client Danish Ministry of Justice/ Danish Prison and Probation Service
Gross internal area 8,387 m²
Engineer Rambøll A/S
Landscape architect Møller & Grønborg

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