Unlocking Pentonville is a speculative project which aims to demonstrate how a site of punishment can be redeemed by reinventing it as one that puts the wellbeing of the community at its heart.

It is based on the premise that the prison site may be sold for development, which is the current intention of the Ministry of Justice. The proposals create a new neighbourhood that breaks down the prison walls connecting the site with surrounding streets, and replaces the panoptic surveillance point at the focus of the radial arms with a public space at the coret of the site. It opens up and reveals historic structures, offering opportunities to reflect and learn from the prison’s past while repurposing the buildings for new uses relevant to a post-prison future. It proposes a range of multi-generational housing with sizes and values related to income and facilities for education and training that could potentially help reduce crime and re-offending.


Location: United Kingdom

Credit: Sarah Wigglesworth Architects