Location: Haarlem, Netherlands
Client: Stichting Panopticon
Program: University College, Offices, Hospitality, Arthouse Cinema
Sector: renovation, transformation
Size: 12.000 m2
Partners: Architectenbureau J. van Stigt BV.
Image credits: Hans Kuiper
The Dome prison in Haarlem is one of the three domes in the Netherlands. Built by the Dutch architect Metzelaar around 1900 it is the last example of a prison based on the concept of panopticon, the all-seeing-eye. This concept was conceived by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham and has influenced many built prisons in Europe and the US. Contact between prisoners was prohibited as it was seen as bad influence, and the constant observation of the prisoners should heal them of their bad habits. The dome, a national monument, has been used as an prison until 2014.
The new owner is the foundation Panopticon. The ambition is to open up the dome to the public, realising the long wished for university in Haarlem within the walls of the dome, together with public facilities. In the design the gigantic domed interior is enriched with a new structure that facilitates not only the necessary spaces for the university but also offers an architectural route so the public can enjoy and thrill at the original structure. Along with the Dome the surrounding grounds and structures, including the jail de Vest, will be transformed into a lively campus.