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Source: Instagram

Former Amsterdam Prison Transforms Into Sustainable Suburb

By Brian Spaen

A former Amsterdam prison is going to be converted into a multi-use property. The new urban development will feature new residential buildings, a vertical farming tower, restaurants, schools, and much more. All of these new properties will be energy neutral and most of it will be built using old material from the prison.

Formerly, the area used to be home to the Bijlmerbaje prison complex in Amsterdam. Opened back in 1978, the facility had six towers with 14 floors in each of them, and types of prisoners were separated. For example, one contained people that didn’t pay fines, another held those that were repeat offenders, and one building had people living with deep psychological issues.

Originally, the idea was to have a prison that was more humane, meaning that windows weren’t barred and cell doors were open most of the time. However, this led to prisoners fleeing the building, resulting in the facility operating more like a traditional prison. Over time, the prison was too expensive to maintain, and therefore closed up in June 2016.