Justizanstalt Klagenfurt

The universal mesh as a superstructure in its precise geometry, it

seems to us the most emphatic representation of discipline

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2020 | Competition


Penitentiary Center in Klagenfurt, Austria.

With:


Rodriguez Blanco

Arquitectos


Alejandro Mosquera




Prisons, hospitals, schools, barracks, workshops... Faucault taught us that they are part of the technologies for controlling the body of the condemned, the sick, the workers, the individuals.

The universal mesh as Jefferson understood it, as a superstructure in its precise geometry, it seems to us the most emphatic representation of discipline, of democrathic rigour as opposed to arbitrary punishment. However, a gentle discipline, nuanced by the scales and proportions, by the nature understood as “Hortus Conclusus”. It is the cloistered space of the convent, of the monastery as a “being” outside the world, and yet also a garden and paradise, following the Persian etimology “pairidaêza”: an enclosed place.

Each courtyard, each cloister, holds the promise of freedom for the prisoner in the form of a garden, although access to them is limited and controlled.

The prison, as a retreat and healing, is configured as a large infrastructure, starting from the cell as the necessary unit that defines the porticoes, the rhythms, of smaller scale and by multiplication it defines the spaces of deambulation, workshops and sport facilities. Superstructure over the landscape: “continuous monument” between gardens.

The cell reproduces in its interior view the plan of the complex, where even each individual could guess his/her relative position, reforcing the idea of belonging, of community. The prison is understood as a healing mechanism, repeated on each scale.

The cloistered distribution makes it possible to differentiate the journeys taken by the officials from those taken by the inmmates, avoiding conflicts as far as possible. Each department on the first floor is configured in a cross, favoring surveillance and control as a panopticon.

The cell distribution avoids visuals between different divisions and departments, so each courtyard is only visible by its own department. The most public uses, access, control, visits or facilities for officials are grouped together on the north facade. Workshops and departments that define the daily life of the inmates are organised around the south-facing courtyards.

The building is, above all, infrastructure, porticoes, cloisters, courtyards and gardens that define a typology: in this case a prison. However, following Rossi, on this skeleton we imagine extensions, changes of use, reforms in a natural way. We build a type. The program, the uses, the needs are necessary today, tomorrow they will be different.

The dimension, the scale is therefore that of the infrastructure, territorial, monumental. The insertion in the urban structure isn’t the domestic or natural processes, but artifice. The references here are the airport and the highway.



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2020 | Competition


Penitentiary Center in Klagenfurt, Austria.

With:


Rodriguez Blanco

Arquitectos


Alejandro Mosquera