February 2016 _ Prison Puzzle Competition
A River Runs Through It
This prison, located along Arizona’s Route 160, is built on the San Juan River’s tributary known as Chinle Creek. The surrounding topography is designed to redirect the water and prolong its journey throughout the building while utilizing its healing powers for a rehabilitative approach through exposure of the elements. The movement of the water runs from West to East, whereas the prisoners’ movement is from East to West as an intended collision of man and water.
Inspired by ancient water clocks, the building serves as a giant clock that allows the prisoners to define time in their own sense; be it the way the sun beams dance in the chasm, or the way the water falls down the water stairs that fill up roughly every day and are reset. The water that is collected throughout the building is then used to generate electricity with a small scale hydro-electric generator that can generate sufficient power to run the building.