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“A city within a city” was declared of Ministerial Interest by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Uruguay

The project “A city within a city” that the office will submit for the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism of 2021, was declared of Ministerial Interest by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Uruguay on 23rd July 2020, considering that it was “in line with the cultural objectives of this Ministry”.


Our project is based on the thesis developed in 2018 by two partners of the firm. It focuses on prison architecture and its relations with the city. We share the abstract of the work presented for the Biennale:


“The project that we are submitting is a prison located in Montevideo, capital city of Uruguay. A prison is a small city that houses a specific part of society. It is a prototype of a city where the utopia of social control finds it ultimate realization. Thinking a prison implies thinking the city, it is a field of urban and social experimentation.


This project contributes to the safe/risk crossroad and approaches the issue of risk from the perspective of society, from the implicit violence in its social and economic model. Humans and their economic and social organization pose risks for society as a whole, and prisons are one of the instruments of control that deal continuously with the balance between risk and security.


Our research derives from, and tries to answer, the following questions: How should a contemporary prison be? What links should it create with its surroundings and with other programmes? Should it be located inside or outside the city? Prisons are cities within cities, made invisible by a wall. The physical space between the city and the prison, between the inside and the outside, gives us a window of opportunity, of exploration, where an essential issue is the integration of two worlds that are cause and consequence of each other.”

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