When it comes to imprisonment Denmark has long taken a different approach to the UK, expressed in recidivism rates of 29% as opposed to 49% in England and Wales.

The Nordfalster prison with room for 250 inmates is designed as a village to create a mini-community in parallel with the society around it. Spaces, architecture, materials and the behaviours and sense of self they encourage help facilitate a healthier transition to life outside prison.

The reliefs and edges in facades and angular roof ridges contrast with typical monolithic institutional architecture. Materials such as steel, glass and high-grade brick, age well rather than appearing worn down with time. Inmates are encouraged to manage themselves by doing their shopping and cooking in the communal kitchens.

Landscape is also key to self-management and resocialisation, hence kitchen gardens are planned as an activity for the inmates, who can learn how to grow fruit and vegetables.


Location: Denmark

Credit: C.F. Møller, Marianne Levinsen, 2017

Image: Torben Eskerod