A criminal rehabilitation centre | Baltimore, MD
Coordinator Mick McNutt
Fall 2016 | Carnegie Mellon University

Living Space is comprised of two projects; the first a Commuter House in Pittsburgh PA, the second a Criminal Rehabilitation Center in Baltimore MD. Both projects begun with a rigorous group site analysis, presented as a collective presentation along with an individual pscyhogeographical mapping, which graphically documented our walkabout in terms of individual lived experience. Each project then transitioned to individual projects, designing an appropriate commuter house and criminal rehabilitation center respectively.

The concept of apertures and views plays a significant role in the design of this criminal rehabilitation center. As an introductory insight to the architecture of prisons, there were readings provided, one of them being The Fabrication of Virtue: English Prison Architecture by Robin Evans. The reading had an interesting dialogue of how different apertures contribute different perception and affect to a cell unit. This memorable excerpt essentially became the focus of this criminal rehabilitation center.

By orchestrating rows of cell units and strategizing the precise location of apertures, it creates this journey through each aperture, playing with what the prisoner can or cannot see. Rather than creating a dystopic rehabilitation center, each cell has a view into the greenery, providing a pleasant view, while maintaining a strong independence from one cell to another.

The walls containing the entry to the cell unit were designed to be a foot and a half thick in order to provide flexibility as to how to carve it away. The couple of steps leading to the doorway, an entrance style commonly seen throughout Baltimore, can be contained within the thickness of the wall. The wall can be carved to be a bookshelf within the cell, and the actual apertures maintains distance between inmate the outside realm, while still providing a pleasant view to the outside.

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To document site and urban condition of Baltimore MD as well as the history of prison typology. There is a similar set of social, political and physical boundaries found within the city as well as the prison type. The representation of the city will focus on its historic development and current situation through research and multiple mapping exercises. The representation of the prison will be comprised of its history and current condition as we attempt to reconceive the program of incarceration in the design for a Neighborhood Criminal Rehabilitation Center.

Layered and data rich diagrams that convey the historical and spatial development of the prison typology. Rigorous research and organization of information will be required to successfully document the social, political and physical boundaries in architectural terms. Along with a pscyhogeographical mapping; a graphical documentation of our walkabout in terms of our individual lived experience.