Correctional conversion

Samy Mansour
Wednesday 27 Aug 2008

'De Maasberg', in Overloon, Netherlands is converted from a prison for adults into a functioning juvenile detention institution.

The buildings are renovated and two new living rooms are added. A new pavilion for education, visitors and offices is main part of the master plan.

The resoluteness of a world focusing on the interior is partly removed. A new and more intensive interaction with the surrounding nature is aimed at the youngsters. The open structure stimulates the daily shifts between living, learning and recreation.

The concept aims at an open, transparent building between the closed prison and the outside world. Visitors can throw a glance at the prison life and the youngsters can look outside, the society in which they will later return.

By means of the light appearance and placement of the steel frame on metal feet in the woodland soil, the volume seems to float in the wood. The façade in steel, aluminium and Bankirai allows the building to merged wth the surrounding woodland scenery, showing different shades of grey. For the flexibility at future changes in the program and treatment, the construction is situated in the side façades, the service pipes have been integrated centrally and the side façades are composed of elements which can be changed modularly.

The classrooms on the first floor and the visiting rooms and offices on the ground floor are functioning separately from each other by means of the two outside stairways. At the entrance to the visiting room there is a hall in which both functions combine, dramatizing the moment of the meeting between the youngsters and the visitors.

The Maasberg is currently shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival , in Barcelona.

Key Facts:

Education Civic Buildings
Architecture
Netherlands

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