Zella Packer’s Soft Surveillance is a critical and sophisticated reflection on the state of the UK’s prison system, and how it prepares, or fails to prepare, its charges for a successful re-integration into society. Building on a well-founded research platform, Zella has turned out a scheme in which control and choice are explicitly expressed in the built form. The existing building and new static elements come to represent the common structures of society and reform, whilst the freeform, user-constructed interiors propose the idea of agency – recognising the importance of choice, consequence and self-reflection in rehabilitation. The final scheme is treated with a wonderfully even hand; resolved programatically, strategically and experientially, the austere rigour of the drawings mask an underlying whimsy of a real, believable community.
Daniela Geraldes’ Circadian Memories explores the difficult terrain of personality fragmentation in dementia sufferers. Daniela takes a very different tack, beginning the project through imagining how the decomposing memories of the new occupants could be visualised, as a series of layered, fragmentary drawings. The great success of the project is managing to compose a concrete architectural world from this same process. The building acts as guide and carer, augmenting the meaningful pursuits of its occupants as a new community, and setting up a series of memory triggers to help them carry out daily tasks that you or I might take for granted. Every corner holds a hint, a memory, or a subliminal instruction. The final drawings are beautifully and delicately drawn, and capture the quality of fragmentation and order perfectly.