the ‘ny anstalt correctional facility’ in greenland by schmidt hammer lassenall images courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen





schmidt hammer lassen, alongside full service contractor rambøll, architects frijs & moltk and landscape architects møller & grønborg, have won first place in a competition to design the first correctional facility of its kind in nuuk, the capital of greenland.


the winning proposal is composed of five residential units, with rooms that house up to 76 inmates. other programs include: work and leisure facilities, an area for visitors, as well as an administration division and various technical and security installations. the belief that physical surroundings have a profound impact on human behaviour and the will to collaborate is what motivated the client to initiate a project of such architectural quality, focusing as much on the comfort of the inhabitants of the complex, as wanting to provide a good working environment for the employees. each volume has been designed so that inmates and staffexperience the changing daylight and vast landscape of the region. the way each building is positioned in relation to one another has been organized in such a way that they accommodate the natural environment–snow, ice, rocks, moss, blue sky, sun, night, day, birds and other animals–bringing it through to the interior via a panoramic window in the common lounge area, thus opening up the indoors to the outdoors. in addition, each of the cells also have windows offering occupants unrestricted views towards the expansive terrain.


the contrast between beauty and roughness was a guiding theme when conceiving the compound, with openness, light, views, security and flexibility acting as leading values behind the design development for the streamlined architecture. the material choices also reflect this with the integration of concrete, wood and corten steel chosen to ease the buildings’ presence into the landscape.




schmidt hammer lassen: correctional facility in greenland   winning proposalthe complex is a composition of accurately shaped blocks



schmidt hammer lassen: correctional facility in greenland   winning proposalan open promenade is situated at the core of the architectural composition



schmidt hammer lassen: correctional facility in greenland   winning proposala panoramic window in the common lounge area opens up the interior to the expansive terrain that lies beyond



project info:

architect team: schmidt hammer lassen architects, friis & moltkefull service contractor: rambøll a/sclient: danish ministry of justice, danish prison and probation servicearea: 8,387 m2competition: 2013, 1st prize in restricted competitionengineer: rambøll a/slandscape architect: møller & grønborg