Architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux’s plans for the Ideal City of Chaux did not include a prison.That building was located outside the city, even before the entry gate.
The idea of placing prisons at a distance is not recent and has indeed been a constant throughout history.The relationship between prisons and their surroundings has always been complex. Social Sciences professor Didier Fassinhas devoted an entire ethnography to prisons: “If there is one enclosed world, which uses the wonders of ingenuity and technicality to disconnect itself from the outside, indeed it is the realm of prisons”.
从严格意义上来讲，监狱并不属于建筑学的范畴，而应该是一个社会和政治议题。但由于建筑学涵盖了所有其他学科，Minimum-Security Area of Nanterre项目便成为了一次可以将建筑学与社会问题相结合、努力淡化城市和监狱之间分隔状态的尝试。
Over time, prisons have become “non-urban” objects, or objects “outside the urban sphere”, even when they are built in city centres. Often encased by a protective wall enclosing one or more buildings within, penitentiary architecture has reduced the field of action to addressing the boundary between the inside and the outside, as well as to the question of control and surveillance.
Prison is not an architectural problem in the strict sense of the word; it is above all a sociological and political issue. Yet since architecture encompasses all the other disciplines, the Minimum-SecurityArea of Nanterre was above all a chance to engage with these types of recent societal considerations, striving to decrease the disconnect between city and prison boundaries.
▼临街视角下的建筑，street view of the building
从城市到监狱 | From city to cell
The Nanterre site is located in a very diverse urban area, surrounded by single-family homes, the large majority from the 60s, and certain industrial buildings. The project aims to reconstruct a form of urbanity and to relate the architecture to the city through several forms: A facade instead of a wall, A more fluid transition between the interior and exterior, Distribution of volume that links the various scales.
▼监狱侧面视角以及周边环境，a side view of the prison and its surroundings
Nanterre项目的独特之处在于它结合了两个分别容纳不同目标人群的监狱系统。SPIP的监狱系统负责收押被逮捕的人，而Minimum Security Area则允许被定罪的犯人参加一个特别的拘留计划：罪犯被允许离开监狱参加一个重新融入社会的活动，希望以此来减少他们重复犯罪的几率。要知道，一座监狱同时提供这样两种完全不同的收监系统是前所未有的。
The Nanterre project is unique in that it combines two programmes, each of which houses different target populations. The headquarters of the Penitentiary Services for Integration and Probation of Hauts-de Seine monitors people under arrest, while the “Minimum Security Area” allows convicted offenders to enrol in a unique detention programme that allows them to leave the penitentiary to participate in a reintegration project, hopefully decreasing repeat offences. Housing these different programmes together is unprecedented.
▼建筑正立面，the front elevation
呈L字型的体量互相连接和补充。SPIP位于建筑前部，半开放的拘留区则坐落于建筑中心。从外面看，这座建筑就像一个位于街道拐角处的紧凑长方体。项目中唯一不规则的体量就是位于南立面的Minimum Security Area入口，它为整体结构创造了一个大型开口。宽敞的屋檐延伸到户外空间，形成一个流畅的、安全的过渡区域。
Built in an L-shape, the volume composition of each building complements the another. The SPIP programme is at the front of the building, while these mi-open detention area is within the centre block. From the outside, the building looks like a compact cuboid on the corner shared by the two streets. The only irregularity in the composition of volume is at the entry to the Minimum-Security Area on the south facade, which creates a large opening in the monolith structure. A wide overhang runs above an outdoor space, forming a more fluid, yet secure kind of transition area.
▼位于南立面的Minimum Security Area入口为整体结构创造了一个大型开口，the entry to the Minimum-Security Area on the south facade, which creates a large opening in the monolith structure
功能性 | Functionality
SPIP办公室位于General Leclerc大道和Acacias街拐角处的街道一侧。一楼的维修间和集体活动室、二楼和三楼的行政管理区都可以通过入口区域进入。Minimum-Security Area各区域的组织都受到安全准入系统（PEP）的控制。该系统可以实时监视入口庭院区域的情况，从而对后勤、行政和拘留区的访问进行管理。
The SPIP offices, which sit on the corner of boulevard du Général Leclerc and rue des Acacias, are located on the street side. The first-floor maintenance and collective action rooms are accessible through the entry area, as are the administrative and management areas, located on the second and third floors. The structure of the various sections of the Minimum-Security Area is controlled by a protected entry post (PEP). Strategically placed, it has a direct view onto the entry courtyard, where access to the logistical, administrative, and detention areas is managed.
▼监狱入口区域立面，facade of the prison entrance area
The Minimum-Security Area has 89 cells, housing 92 prisoners. The cells are accessed from broad walkways and overlook either the walkway-side courtyard or the planted gardens, without any buildings opposite. The ground floor common rooms (canteen, weight room, multimedia library, and laundry area) open onto the courtyard.
▼入口区域内部，inside the entry area
路边庭院 | Walkway Side Courtyard
Confined within the centre block, within the prisoners’ area, the courtyard is accessible from the monitored reception area. This is an open, natural space, equipped with basketball and handball courts. Floor treatments are coloured coded with a flat finish (pastel purple, dove blue, light green, ivory, and light grey.
▼位于囚犯区的运动场地，the sports ground is located in the prisoners’ area
▼球场地板被不同颜色的漆面划分，the court floor is divided by different colors of paint
景观绿化带 | Gardens
Landscaped plots border the court. They serve to ensure that the plot of land stays moist, but also provide a green area in view of the prisoners, in addition to providing distance from the cells. The vegetation consists of grasses and aquatic plants. A vegetable garden has even been considered to supplement these green areas, to be managed by and for the prisoners.
▼庭院周围的景观绿化带，landscaped plots border the court
立面材料 | Materials of façades
The three main materials used in the project are: self-weathering steel, thermo-lacquered aluminium, and fine mineral plaster. The street facade offers a strong, cohesive identity. Encased in perforated panels of self-weathering steel sheets, it serves as a visual filter, provides sun protection, and offers a play of overlaps, depth, and transparency. The panels open out thanks to a system of pivoting automated shutters. The Minimum-Security Area façades, located within the centre block, are in direct contact with the prisoner area. They are made of robust, waterproof, and self-cleaning materials. The light shade of these façades ensures light flows throughout the inside of the building.
▼立面上轻透的遮光板确保了整个建筑内部的光照，the light shade of these façades ensures light flows throughout the inside of the building
CLIENT : Ministère de la Justice, Agence publique pour l’immobilier de la Justice (APIJ)
ADDRESS: Nanterre (92)
COST: 13 M. € HT
Surface: 4 350 sqm
TEAM : LAN (general contractor), Franck Boutté Consultants (HQE), BatiserfIngénierie (structure), Nicolas Ingénierie (liquids, electricity), Michel Forgue (economist)