ARCH 574: Urbanism Studio
Graduate Design Studio
Sara Bartumeus Ferré, Spring 2020
La Model is a former prison in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona. It was built in 1904 under the intention of becoming the modern standard for humane incarceration, implementing Jeremy Bentham’s 18th century panoptic vision and a “one cell, one prisoner” mantra. However, that number swelled to almost twenty per cell during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, and the prison was forever tainted with the memory of injustice, torture, and political executions. Overwhelming pressure led to the prison’s closure in 2017, and the community has spent the last few years collaborating with various government and non-profit agencies to envision a plan for La Model’s rebirth.
The FIELDS + FABRICS proposal seeks to transform La Model prison into a patchwork of vegetation and architectural additions to serve the community’s needs. The project removes the existing perimeter wall that separates the site from the neighborhood and invites locals inside to a public green space with schools, housing, retail, recreational facilities, and civic centers.
- First Place, Graduate Award for Design Excellence
- First Place, Benn Johnck AIA Chicago Award in Architecture