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Daniella Cianca


Rikers Island, NY is known for its notorious correctional facility which includes eleven jails. Historically the island was a landfill site, exposing inmates, staff and visitors to health risks. The current architecture is falling apart due to shifting grounds and chemical reactions under the surface. NYC has announced the closure of Rikers Island in 2025. Therefore, now is the chance to rejuvenate the land and give back communities of NYC.

Prior the three phases of the masterplan it is critical to ensure the landfill site be manipulated and re-capped for the safety of those occupying the island in the future. The three phases of the masterplan are split into MICRO – MESO – MACRO, dividing the island.

Micro (non-secure) includes parkland / wetland walks, scenic paths, park spaces, interpretive historic landmarks, refurbishment of buildings into function centres, man-made beach and waste plant / service buildings to support the island residences.

Meso (Semi-secure) is divided from the micro space with a large wall created with solar panel PV cell sheets and decorated with planter beds. Meso is the focus of the project and is the first phase developed on the island. Proposed is a rehabilitative prison, where the aim is to develop positive mental well-being, independent working skills and ultimately successful integration back into the community to effectively reduce recidivism rates in America. The purpose of this project is to try and gain an understanding into what ways architecture can assist in the rehabilitation process for prisoners.
The rehabilitative prison has been designed in a way to provide security to the inmates whilst integrating communal and everyday activities such as working in the agricultural precinct or workshop or studying in the educational sector.

Macro (secure) spaces have been placed strategically within the meso area, generally being the use for services, room for expansion and activity spaces where inmates are required to be supervised.


















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