This Prison Ship Looks More Like a Luxury Cruise Liner Than Jail

The 1week 1project team has designed a jail ship called Panama Papers Jail. The design looks more luxurious rather than a prison cell.
Kathleen Villaluz

Naval architecture is sometimes considered to be a conservative industry as it follows stringent engineering rules and design safety principles. But as we know, architects are known for their eccentric and avant-garde ideas so they have decided to break our technical reserves by designing a colossal prison ship with paper sails! The Panama Papers Jail project is reminiscent of a cruise liner rather than a prison cell.

A prison ship with paper sails
Source: 1week 1project

The Panama Papers Jail

In 2016, an anonymous source leaked an estimated 11.5 million documents or over 2.6 terabytes of data to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) about all the confidential estate management of global high profile clients. The Mossack Fonseca is at the core of this worldwide controversy as the firm provides offshore companies with numerous offices around the world. Essentially, Mossack Fonseca regularly engages in business activities that potentially violate sanctions, abetting tax evasion, and money laundering.

The Panama Papers Jail project by French architects is a concept design which serves as a prison vessel for all of the people named in the financial scandal. Built on a cargo boat, the prison vessel is completely autonomous with an agricultural deck, a sports field at the bow of the boat, a sea water-treatment facility, workshops, and gym amenities.

Interior cell of the panama papers jail
Source: 1week 1project

Perhaps one of the most striking features of the prison ship is the two colossal sails, one for males and one for females, that tower on top of the cargo vessel and is made out of paper. The sails are designed at a strapping height of 100 meters and stretch across the ship's deck for 350 meters. Divided into three segments, the paper sails contains rows of 9 square meters of cells, administration offices, and 36 square meters of duplex apartments for penitentiary guards. Access corridors of these living and working spaces are external.

Panama Papers Jail's external corridor
Source: 1week 1project

The three distinct division of the cargo ship is strategic and makes the most of the room that is available within the vessel. Browsing your eyes through these creative perspectives of the ship, it doesn't look as if it's a large prison cell. On the contrary, it looks more like an overhauled cruise liner outfitted with insanely large waffle sails.

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Floor plan of the Panama Papers Jail
Source: 1week 1project
Back view of the Panama Papers Jail
Source: 1week 1project

The 1week 1project

French architects, Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux from the Ecole d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville, have come up with the 1 week 1 project challenge back in 2013 where they have to produce a spontaneous architecture project per week. The architects' approach to design is practical as they use real-life observations from daily life. Only one rule governs the architects' work: to propose spontaneous and open projects.

For this Panama Papers Jail project, it seems like the punishment for illegal business activities is to live in a cruise liner complete with everything you need. Although the idea of a sailing prison gives me nausea, and don't forget the fact that you're ultimately in jail.

Sailing perspective of the Panama Papers Jail ship
Source: 1week 1project

To see more unique and interesting architecture designs from the 1week 1project, visit their website by clicking here.

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