Designs for 'Prison Village' released

Secretary of State Servais Verherstraeten, who is responsible for Public Buildings, has released the first pictures of the designs for a new prison in the Brussels district of Haren. The new penitentiary complex becomes a prison village and will include two men's and two women's prisons as well as a court house, a sports complex and a lot of green space.

Mr Verherstraeten is in talks with Spain's Cafasso that is still to land the definitive contract.

The complex will also include a youth detention centre, workshops, visiting areas, a hospital and offices for the security guards.

Architects opted for small scale buildings: "The buildings emulate the structure of a village. Communal buildings can be seen as the town hall. Building clusters are like multi-family dwellings."

The cells are housed in the cluster buildings. The whole structure is intended to reflect a humane detention policy.

As a result of the new building style local residents and inmates will both enjoy a varied view. The prison wall will be incorporated into the existing surroundings in the most natural possible way.

Building is expected to starting 2015.