Felix Kruse

Felix Kruse

“Jugendgefängnis Maastricht”. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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The Detention Centre Maastricht is a penal institution for up to 120 young inmates age 14 to 24. The daily routine is completely enclosed by the surrounding prisonwall.
In comparison to a prison designed for adults the main purpose of the Detention Centre is not to punish but to reintegrate the delinquents into society and daily life. Therefore life inside the prison should be an adequate substitution for regular life outside the prisonwall.

Due to these prerequisites the building is designed to meet several conditions and is therefore organized to serve the following purposes:

- Community life
- School
- Leisure
- Therapy
- Administration

The building is not only a prison with the function of a “living-machine” for the inmates but also serves the request for an appropriate outer appearance and atmosphere.

While the prison itself constitutes an enclosed independent society for itself its appearance also has an considerable amount of influence on its immediate surrounding area.

The two-dimensional and introverted character of the building as well as the variety of positive and negative spaces reveal the obvious comparison to a relief. Therefore the Detention Centre is dug into the landscape. While the various parts of the building define the positive spaces the sportsfields and courtyards define the negative spaces. The prisonwall itself is also treated as a negative space and is transformed into a surrounding ditch.

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