The first prison of its kind in the UK, designed to accommodate 360 female & 480 male prisoners, with no mixing of or oversight between the male and female populations. This challenge to the design was operationally led and, in all instances, reflects the brief to avoid any prisoner gender mix and both an efficient and humane layout.
A Flexible and Adaptable Physical Layout of the prison was achieved around four principal areas; the Entry building, central amenity block, and male and female house blocks and efficient circulation through the prison by a central atrium street which provides access to all parts of either the male or female prison.
Every function is directly accessed from the atrium street, which is enhanced by the provision of landscaped courtyards between the central amenity building, housing the atrium, and the house blocks. The house block hubs allow access to cells at the ground floor level. Supervision is clear and routing to all the main functions is simple, which assists in the multitude of daily operational movements throughout the estate.
The female house blocks were designed around a wing size of 33 / 34 inmates, creating small communities with a human scale and quality that both prisoners and staff can relate to. Carefully detailed design, the choice of colours and a well-considered landscaping scheme help to alleviate some of the more oppressive features which are inevitable in a secure facility, and help to relax the atmosphere, without compromising security.
Energy Efficiency with a Pre-planned Monitoring System (BMS) is an integral part of the installation, thereby ensuring maximum efficiency in energy consumption. Each building is controlled independently but can be overridden centrally to allow maximum flexibility throughout the life of the prison. A computerised preventative planned maintenance regime and ensure that the buildings are maintained to meet the operational needs of the prison.
A driving force within the design has been to ensure value for money in terms of capital costs, maintenance, and operational costs. These criteria have been met without compromising any other issues relating to the design, such as security and operational needs.