Recent history of the conversion of historic prisons often limits new uses of the old prisons to hotel and museum functions due to the specificity of their spatial structure – buildings created for secure detention purposes. Whilst conversions of prisons to hotels provide us with some outstanding architectural examples, the impact of these uses on the regeneration of the surrounding urban area is narrow. A different approach is demonstrated in the case of the ongoing conversion of Le Murate prison in Florence (Italy) into a multifunctional hub of the historic centre. The new uses have been determined by needs and a visionary approach and serve social and economic sustainability of the broader regenerated neighbourhood. Its peer in the REPAIR network, Corradino prison in Paola (Malta), demonstrates an equally integrative approach.
Lead expert of the REPAIR thematic network