Can Brians Prision, Sant Esteve Sesrovires
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Building a prison is building a closed world, as were the abbeys, fortresses, monasteries or the ancient acropolis. Life passes here without freedom and relations are conditioned by control.

There is a parallelism with the idea of city since we find the same spaces as the traditional city: squares, streets and façades. The uses, however, are not the same: the square is not a meeting place, but of classification; the street is not a space of communication, but of separation; the façade does not have a sense of interior/exterior relation, only of reclusion.

The protagonists of these spaces are closed walls, passages, stairs, drops and shadows. These elements must be combined in order to achieve a certain variety and to be able to escape from monotony: to create irregular forms, gestures, changes in alignment that make them richer and give more meaning to a street without its usual attributes such as windows or balconies.

It involves creating a city with an unspoilt terrain, attending to reflections on geographic and scenic order –achieving good implantation and integration– as well as a programmatic order, an aspect of great complexity in which questions of control and security are keynote.

We were able to summarise the programme in three clearly differentiated zones. The external zone, outside the walls, which contains the administrative services, is situated in the higher part of the site. Having passed the wall we come to a mixed zone where the inmates are classified and where they have contact with the outside world: family and lawyers´ visits. From here we go to the internal zone: modules of residence, hospital, sports centre and leisure areas, structured from a main street, which is the main axis of the centre. A series of elements (slopes, stairs, projections and turns) provide validity to façades without windows and help achieve an effect of perspective.

See technical file