A new 350 bed multi-classification facility for female inmates, with an emphasis on local cultural needs. ARWCF was developed within the auspices of the NZ Department of Corrections Regional Prisons Development Project.
ARWCF replaced an existing women’s prison no longer fit-for-purpose, and provided additional capacity for accommodation of female inmates. Serving the northern half of the North Island, ARWCF houses a high proportion of Maori and Pacific Islander women. The underlying design concept integrates operational imperatives with significant local cultural values.
ARWCF is sited on a former quarry at the edge of Manukau Harbour. Matukutureia, a remnant volcanic cone, is immediately adjacent and was a culturally significant design generator. Matukutureia is the centre point of an arc extending through the ARWCF site and continuing to the harbour’s edge.
This ‘Spine’ is expressed as a series of buildings linked by a continuous wall and roof plane, with courtyards between. Facilities for health, education and vocational training programs, recreation and work are included in the ‘Spine’. High security inmates are housed on one side of the ‘Spine’, low security on the other. Each cohort has equity of access to the support facilities via the courtyard spaces.