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This Totally Stunning Green Building is Actually a Prison

Highfalutin design comes in all manner of packages—dentists' offices, pharmacies, fashion boutiques—so it shouldn't be a surprise that a Spanish penitentiary looks, well, like this. The architects at AiB and Estudi PSP Arquitectura conceived a chiseled green sprawl for a prison complex near Tarragona, Spain, a project that, as AiB architect Roger Paez explains to Dezeen, "has the potential to spark a debate on how architecture relates to social betterment." The structures of Mas d'Enric Penitentiary slink in the surrounding forest, low-slung and painted green, and the architects' scheme to incorporate the neighboring topography—each cell has a woodland view—and provide airy courtyards plays into their plan to create a "non-oppressive environment," a not inconsiderable feat for a structure designed to shelter law-breakers. Find more photos, including a few shots of the inside, below.

Take it away, architecture babble!

"A prison must respond to the demand for discipline (confinement) and liberty (reinsertion) at the same time. Within this complex framework, architecture can make use of its ability to synthetically articulate problems that seem contradictory to become an active agent in resolving the paradox of the contemporary penitentiary."

· Mas d'Enric Penitentiary by AiB and Estudi PSP Arquitectura [Dezeen]
· All Globe Trotting posts [Curbed National]