Is the craziest prison of all time actually the one that may prove most effective and/or most humane? The world may never know, because a recent model drummed up by University of Pennsylvania architecture graduate students Andreas Tjeldflaat and Greg Knobloch is just that—an unbuilt, unplanned model. 499.SUMMIT, as it's called, is something Tjeldflaat and Knobloch would ideally place smack dab in Jersey City—better to site it in an urban environment than the "typically isolated sites" where most prisons are found, Tjeldflaat told Co.Design.
The stark, angular design itself consists of three jagged upside-down Us punctuated by three basic levels of rehab: high security, house arrest, and the halfway house (which ultimately yields a release back into society), all serving as a "metaphor for the steps of the ideal rehabilitation process—the way [inmates] climb uphill (initial incarceration), then level off (transformation into an upstanding citizen), then return to the street (reintegration)." Also included are private residences and public space. Says Tjeldflaat: "We believe there is innovation in how an inmate must graduate through the system, and thereby having to take an active role in his/her advancement,” This diagram may illustrate what that means:
· A Wild Prison tower Designed to Slash Recidivism [Co.Design]