The park project, a green area for yard time, began through a shared journey with inmates and prison authorities to design an outdoor place that allows internal and external activities. The layout goes beyond the traditional "promenades" as it includes spaces for sociability, study, exercise, and sharing in a context that, however safe and bounded, can keep the mind and body of the individual active and as serene as possible. A place that can lead back, in small fragments, to the normalcy of free life and affection.
The Padua prison is located in the northwest area of the city, and given its function it is completely bordered and disconnected from the urban fabric in which it resides. The park's location, in the east area of the prison compound, was chosen to bring it closer to the existing sports fields to create a single pole related to physical activity and sociality. The access to the green area is from the existing promenade courtyard adjacent to the soccer field: this allowed to maintain the same internal exit route from the individual floors and cells.
The park, that covers an area of about 2,400 sq m, has two main paths that aim to provide as much space as possible for inmates to exercise and meet. The first path, with large seating areas equipped with benches, encircles the outer part of the park and extends for about 182 meters. Through the second path, the four multipurpose canopies are accessed; areas with seating are located in front of them. The material of the paths is colored concrete, which changes coloring on the two different paths. The central part is a green area to allow for rest. The four covered multipurpose canopies (43 sq m each) can have various functions: play, sports, reading, meditation, art. This allows their use at different times and periods of the day and year. The park has a guardhouse building (48 sq m) for prison staff with attached restrooms and a small storage room. In order to amplify the perception of space and size, the park is designed starting from an ideal elevation of 0.0 for the outermost path to an elevation of +0.70 meters for the central part, with a careful slope design. The space changes and is perceived differently depending on the interference and heights: the more the distance increases or the elevation changes from an obstacle the more it eliminates the barrier effect, so the choices of the position of the trees varies based on their elevation position, with the tall trees placed at a higher elevation. All project materials were chosen to ensure the safety of users.
Deprivation of liberty, although justified, conflicts with the character of the human being both as an individual and as a member of a society/community. The prison system can seek to mitigate this situation through reeducation, which can occur through the efficient organization of the prison system and the design of spaces that allow for activities and sociality.
Atelier Cappochin, was founded in 1982 by the architect Giuseppe Cappochin and offers a high quality wide range of services in the field of architecture and urban development planning. A dedicated multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers and surveyors delivers innovative projects under-pinned by the latest research, with a specific focus on the social and environmental impact of the product.
Over the years the studio has completed projects for a diverse range of clients including private individuals, local governments, regional authorities and international clients. Davide Cappochin has joined the Atelier Cappochin firm having worked for Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Tectoo architects. Davide brings significant international experience to the team which will further broaden the scope of this successful firm.