[PACIFIC] Ocean Platform Prison

Project ///

The imprisonment of people is probably one of the bigger taboos within our modern society. A Prison is a place in which people are physically confined and usually deprived of a range of personal freedoms.
Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth’s oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.

The aim of this International Competition is to design a New Prison afloat the Pacific Ocean, using an oil Platform as a reference structure. The design of this new Platform will include all the facilities a prison may need including cells, exercise yard, etc.. with a design that still facilitates human rights within the deemed confinement.

The architecture of this new building should reflect contemporary design tendencies, standing out for its uniqueness as a prison.

This competition hopes to achieve the following:
_To investgate new direction and functionality of incarceration including methods of confinement.
_To generate the discussion of ideas regarding the ambiguous role of architecture in relation to the punishment of imprisonment.
_Research, respond to and highlight the unique aspects of designing a highly functional piece of architecture with an economic and safety advantages for all.
_Encourage and reward design excellence on a large scale, which integrates function, structure, details, etc within an Ocean environment.
_Encourage the employment of sustainable design in all aspects of the proposal.

This is a single stage Competition with the aim of identifing the most appropriate proposal, which best satisfies the general and specific objectives of the contest.

This is an open international competition hosted by [AC-CA]™ to generate progressive contemporary design ideas. There are no plans for the Ocean Platform Prison to be built. 

Media Sponsors ///

Schedule ///

_Competition Officially Announced - 06th November 2012

_Start of Competition and Early Bird registration - 08th November to 20th December 2012

_Late Competition Registration -  21st December 2012 to 18th February 2013

_Deadline for Questions  - 31st January 2013

_Closing Date for Submissions  - 22nd February 2013

_Jury Evaluation - 27th February - 06th March 2013

_Announcement of Winners and posted on www.ac-ca.org - 08th March 2013


Jury ///

_Shao-Wei Huang – Architect (Chinese)

_Luis Fonseca
– Architect (Portuguese)

_Derek Kawiti
– Architect / Lecturer (New Zealand)


Prizes ///

Winning participants will receive prizes totaling US$ 6,000 with the distribution as follows:




There will also be 7 honorable mentions


1st Prize, 2nd Prize and 3rd Prize will be published in following magazines as well as on the [AC-CA]™ website:

• Positive Art Magazine (Italia)

• wettbewerbe-aktuell Magazine (Germany)

• Concept Magazine (Korea)

• Monitor International Magazine (Germany, France, Russia)

 Future Arquitecturas Architecture Magazine (USA & China)

• ASK Magazine (Egypt)


FAQ ///

Are you going to give some digital drawings about existing structure and plans?
The design of platform(s) is left to the discretion of participants, is no plan provided as it can be a brand new platform of an existing one.

Is there any restriction on using the underwater space?
No, is no restriction.

What should we consider for an avarage variation of the sea level?
The average variation will be between 2 to 6m approx. (depends where your project is located)

Should we design on a defined platform with special size and features or are we free to design one according to our needs?
You can design your own platform(s) at your convenience.

Should the prison building be stationary or movable like most oil rigs?
We recommend that the main Platform Prison structure be stationary as stated in the brief.

While working on a constructed Platform, is it OK to choose a Platform that is still in operation as an oil rig platform or should it be one that is disused or abandoned?
Platform(s) for the design proposal should be brand new.

Can more components be added to the chosen main platform?
Yes, participants are free to design extensions to the main stationary platform.

What’s the number of prisoners awaiting trial and convicted prisoners?
This will depend on the cases being brought to trial. We are to assume for this competition we require equal number, therefore divide the number of cell/room by two. This gives you 36 general cells and 10 detention rooms.

Are the prison cells for single (single person bed) or double occupancy ( two-person bunk beds)?
Cells are to be single prisoner units as stated in the competition brief.

Are there any restrictions in the number of inmates the prison should be able to maintain?
The room/cell capacity of the prison automatically restricts the capacity level to be maintained.

Can we imagine that laws of imprisonment can slightly change according to our building concept?
We are open to the notion of imprisonment being investigated, question or explored with a design.

Is it possible to make the inmates work?
Yes, this can be incorporated into your design and must be within the prison.

Is the prison to be the property of a particular country or can it be an internationally administered prison?
It is to be under the administration of a particular country.

What sort of criminals should the prison be designed for?
The proposed prison is should be designed to hold normal prisoners and not maximum security or highly dangerous prisoners.

Are there any restrictions in choosing the gender of the inmates?
The prison is to hold male inmates only.

Is there a maximum/minimum number of "additional" platforms?
There are no limitations to the number of additional platforms.

Can we design more than the specified six (6) studio accommodation for the staff?
No, may not design extra studio accommodation. There is only a requirement for six (6) studio accommodation for staff and four (4) Supervisor’s Rooms for guards is required as mentioned in the competition brief. The staff do not reside on the platform permanently. 

Is the proposed dinning area for both staff and prisoners use?
Yes, the dinning area will be used by both prisoners and staff, but at different times.

In the 100m2 designation for office space, can we have an office for the Director, archive and meeting room within it?
Two (2) offices and one (1) meeting room are required for the administration area. All document archives will be store in cupboards within in the chief archiving officers space. 

Is there a space limit for the areas included in the 'External Area'?
No. There is no space limit to the areas that form the external area.

Why does the standards use/surface so precise such as cells being 7.5 square meters? These rules (or regulations) can affect the range of design solutions for a new detention structures (which is clearly suggested as the main goal in this competition).
Design consideration for an environment such as the Pacific Ocean is no different to that on land. There isn’t an infinite availability of space and most importantly, the management of the space still has to be taken into account in any solution. We recommend that participants follow the specifications set out in the competition brief, just as much as we are interested in motivating architects to provide their own point of view or vision, which very often may push the boundaries and rules defined by the Competition. 

Can the design proposal for this competition be submitted using a different media to that specified in the brief e.g using a video to aid the understanding of the proposed design?
No. Only a single (1) board horizontal digital image (*.jpeg, *.jpg ) is acceptable as stated in the competition brief.