Leuze Prison

Photo © Marc Detiffe
Photo © Marc Detiffe
Photo © Marc Detiffe
Photo © Marc Detiffe
Photo © Marc Detiffe
Photo © Marc Detiffe
Photo © Marc Detiffe
Photo © Marc Detiffe
Photo © Marc Detiffe
Photo © Marc Detiffe
1-5 Stories
Cofinimmo, Cordeel, Willemen
Associated architect
Storimans Wijffels Architecten
Associated architect
Assar Architects

The construction of a new prison in Leuze-en-Hainaut forms part of an overall project aiming at a more human prison life fostering the detainees’ reinsertion in Belgium, of which the objectives have been defined in the ‘Masterplan Prison’.

Safety, functionality and social responsibility underlay the prison building’s conception. The architecture and organisation are based on short sightlines, strictly separated circulation patterns for personnel, detainees and visitors, and neatly identifiable functional clusters in order to make the complex more readable and controllable.

The luminous and transparent entry building, realized in metal and glass, clearly shows itself as a reception zone. The visitors’ building, articulated around a patio, is particularly aerated and convivial. The star-shaped main building is composed of a panoptic centre with an unhindered view and control on the four wings with a total of 310 cells.

The plan organisation assures a clear and optimal dialogue between the detainees and the personnel and allows the prisoners having a certain freedom of circulation within the building. They have access, via short and open circulation axes, to the sport hall, the rooms for socio-cultural activities, the workshops, etc. The omnipresence of natural light, the use of colours and the presence of art pieces contribute to the complex’s human character. Several plastic art pieces of George De Decker and Franca Ravet, comprising sculptures, paintings, frescos and stained glass panels, were integrated in the prison building.

Particular attention has been given to the integration of environmental measures (choice of materials, use of rain water, solar panels, environmental integration, etc.), making the prison of Leuze being one of the first buildings of this typology that received a BREEAM certification with mention ‘very good’.

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