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PRISON:2050_Incarceration of body and mind

Part 2 Project 2014
Snezhina Aleksieva
University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy | Bulgaria
The project “PRISON:2050” is about a new state prison for close confinement and maximum security with a capacity of 1000 souls, recidivists.

A prison is a place where people that break the law are locked up as a punishment for their crimes. Prisons have different characteristic in different cultures, there are places of punishment and isolation and there are places for treatment and rehabilitation, there are even places of repression and symbols of terror.

Prisons are in a way a social phenomena. They form environment which is far away from our believes and understandings. But most importantly they form a society, existing as a subformation of our own.

The thesis of my project is that punishment is not the way to reeducate and rehabilitate one soul, rather hard work, and the ability to make choices is.

Winston Churchill said ‘First we shape our buildings, than they shape us’. That appear to be so right about prison typology and development.

Most prisons are one to three stories high, others are under the ground, but no typology suggests a prison above ground. My concept leans upon that idea, of designing a prison that will make escape impossible and by separating a convict from the ground will make him think and pay for the sins and crimes he did. The higher you go, the smaller the cells, the tougher the stay.

All that should make you think that ‘CRIME DOES NOT PAY’.

The barrier between the prisoner and the ground is invisible, psychological, mental, but as strong and tangible as a 2m thick concrete WALL.

There hasn’t been a project for new prison in Bulgaria for the last 50 years, and the crime rates are going up. Main problem is out capital Sofia where the only state prison is the Sofia Central Prison. Build in 1900 with capacity of 250 souls. Today it houses 2000 people. Moreover the building is announced to be an object of cultural preservation.

My motivation is to create an environment which rehabilitates prisoners through the means of architecture and the infinite possibilities of the human mind.

Snezhina Aleksieva


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