Architecture

Offshore floating prison concept would create electricity for the mainland

Offshore floating prison conce...
The floating prison concept is not just self-sufficient, but actually creates electricity for the mainland
The floating prison concept is not just self-sufficient, but actually creates electricity for the mainland
View 21 Images
The floating prison concept is not just self-sufficient, but actually creates electricity for the mainland
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The floating prison concept is not just self-sufficient, but actually creates electricity for the mainland
The design calls for excess energy to be used to pump water from the ocean, up into the 12,000 cubic meter (almost 425,000 cubic foot) prison hold
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The design calls for excess energy to be used to pump water from the ocean, up into the 12,000 cubic meter (almost 425,000 cubic foot) prison hold
The renders of Dr. Krasojevic's prison concept are rather dystopian in nature
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The renders of Dr. Krasojevic's prison concept are rather dystopian in nature
During peak electrical demand, the water is released onto floating turbines below, and 3.2 megawatts of energy is produced, according to Dr. Krasojevic
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During peak electrical demand, the water is released onto floating turbines below, and 3.2 megawatts of energy is produced, according to Dr. Krasojevic
Underwater cables run the electrical power to the mainland
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Underwater cables run the electrical power to the mainland
The prisoners themselves appear to take no active part in the overall energy-creating process
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The prisoners themselves appear to take no active part in the overall energy-creating process
The structure would sit atop a floating tension-leg platform which is tethered to the sea bed
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The structure would sit atop a floating tension-leg platform which is tethered to the sea bed
A series of cantilevered loops enable an even weight distribution
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A series of cantilevered loops enable an even weight distribution
The floating prison concept is not just self-sufficient, but actually creates electricity for the mainland
9/21
The floating prison concept is not just self-sufficient, but actually creates electricity for the mainland
The design calls for excess energy to be used to pump water from the ocean, up into the 12,000 cubic meter (almost 425,000 cubic foot) prison hold
10/21
The design calls for excess energy to be used to pump water from the ocean, up into the 12,000 cubic meter (almost 425,000 cubic foot) prison hold
The renders of Dr. Krasojevic's prison concept are rather dystopian in nature
11/21
The renders of Dr. Krasojevic's prison concept are rather dystopian in nature
During peak electrical demand, the water is released onto floating turbines below, and 3.2 megawatts of energy is produced, according to Dr. Krasojevic
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During peak electrical demand, the water is released onto floating turbines below, and 3.2 megawatts of energy is produced, according to Dr. Krasojevic
Underwater cables run the electrical power to the mainland
13/21
Underwater cables run the electrical power to the mainland
The prisoners themselves appear to take no active part in the overall energy-creating process
14/21
The prisoners themselves appear to take no active part in the overall energy-creating process
The floating prison concept is not just self-sufficient, but actually creates electricity for the mainland
15/21
The floating prison concept is not just self-sufficient, but actually creates electricity for the mainland
The design calls for excess energy to be used to pump water from the ocean, up into the 12,000 cubic meter (almost 425,000 cubic foot) prison hold
16/21
The design calls for excess energy to be used to pump water from the ocean, up into the 12,000 cubic meter (almost 425,000 cubic foot) prison hold
The renders of Dr. Krasojevic's prison concept are rather dystopian in nature
17/21
The renders of Dr. Krasojevic's prison concept are rather dystopian in nature
During peak electrical demand, the water is released onto floating turbines below, and 3.2 megawatts of energy is produced, according to Dr. Krasojevic
18/21
During peak electrical demand, the water is released onto floating turbines below, and 3.2 megawatts of energy is produced, according to Dr. Krasojevic
Dr. Krasojevic has been in discussion with developers in Beijing
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Dr. Krasojevic has been in discussion with developers in Beijing
A series of cantilevered loops enable an even weight distribution
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A series of cantilevered loops enable an even weight distribution
The renders of Dr. Krasojevic's prison concept are rather dystopian in nature
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The renders of Dr. Krasojevic's prison concept are rather dystopian in nature

However efficient a prison may be, it still typically expends significant energy resources. But what if a prison could actually create power, rather than just consume it? That's the thinking behind lecturer in architecture Dr. Margot Krasojevic's futuristic offshore floating Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison concept, which isn't just self-sustaining, but produces excess energy for homes on the mainland too.

As shown in the image gallery, the renders of Dr. Krasojevic's concept depict a rather dystopian-looking structure. Located in the Pacific Ocean near the Canadian coastline, the prison-cum-power-station sits atop a floating tension-leg platform tethered to the sea bed. A series of cantilevered loops create an even weight distribution.

The design calls for excess energy to pump seawater from the ocean, up into a 12,000 cubic-meter (almost 425,000 cubic-foot) prison hold, which is some 50 meters (165 feet) above sea-level. During peak electrical demand, the seawater is released through nozzles which pepper the carbon fiber outer surface of the building, eventually flowing onto the floating turbines below.

Underwater cables run the electrical power to the mainland
Underwater cables run the electrical power to the mainland

According to Dr. Krasojevic, this system would produce 3.2 megawatts, or enough to provide roughly 2,000 homes with electricity and keep the prison self-sufficient in power, too. The electricity produced is transferred to the mainland via underwater cables.

Dr. Krasojevic also envisions a secondary outer ring of Pelamis-like energy converters to make use of the local wave motions. However, the prisoners themselves take no active part, and there's no mention of anything like a JF-Kit House system for harnessing people-power, for example.

Though the Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison Power Station concept seems unlikely to be built in its present state any time soon, Dr. Krasojevic has been in discussion with developers in Beijing, so the idea itself appears to have piqued someone's interest.

Source: Margot Krasojevic via ArchDaily

27 comments
Anne Ominous
I am not real happy about the idea of prisons that pay for themselves, much less produce a profit. I used to think that was a great idea... until they "privatized" incarceration facilities in my area, and I have seen what the profit motive has done not just to the management of "correctional facilities" and the people in them, but even to the legal system itself. Prisons SHOULD be a societal cost. Anything else produces too much incentive for abuse. I have seen it.
Chris Walker
If I understand this correctly, its just an energy storage device and does not create energy. Using excess energy (I assume at off-peak) from the mainland, and storing it as potential energy with the water at altitude, then letting gravity take it down through the turbines during peak is energy storage.
Nairda
The futuristic design and green credentials of this facility, with its proposed "benefit" to the land population smacks of privately funded military prison in international waters.
Slowburn
re; Chris Walker I believe it taps wave energy. It idea is sound enough but the design needs to be redone by somebody that has a clue about practicality.
Pewnicorn
With any benefit being offset by the cost of transporting prison staff back and forth every day.... Silly idea is silly.
Scion
I agree with Anne Ominous on this one. If we take an economic rationalist view of prisons and criminality, and I don't think it unreasonable to do so, it would be better to leave prisons as a cost centre. If we as a society make profit from prisons and criminals then we as a society are encouraged to create prisons and criminals. If they are a cost then we are encouraged to reduce prisons and criminals. If there is greater profit to be made in addressing the core issues behind criminal behaviour than in simply locking people away I think we'll pursue those core issues. eg: poverty, lack of education, lack of opportunity (or perceived lack), discrimination and lack of social support systems. I'd hate to see a world where someone is eagerly rubbing their hands at the thought of imprisoning more people or even encouraging laws to criminalise more behaviour. Why not have an off-shore energy (and thus profit) producing school? Or a green factory or hospital?
Saachi Sadcha
Well-put everyone :) Hopefully government officials/private backers think just as clearly before they jump all over this idea. doubtful but one lives in hope
JamieW
This project reflects the psychology of observation, models of urban surveillance and the Panoptican, we never know when or how we are being observed and this is a very important design criteria in either context. The design is striking, an interesting typology and pushing the boundaries of cross-disciplines in design. I find it veyr interesting.
spicedreams
This conflates the ideas of prison and energy generation. I don't see any substantial link between them. You might as well describe installing solar panels at an onshore prison. Am I missing something?
George Vergese
When I first came across the term 'pumped' in the HydroElectric Pumped Storage Power Plant at Kadamparai in Tamilnadu, India, I thought it was a spelling mistake or grammatical error. The principle of this HydroElectric Plant is similar to that of the Offshore Floating Prison, generating power for consumption when required and pumping water upward into the reservoir when demand is low.