Pt Augusta Prison – Stage 1
Pt Augusta, South Australia
Year of completion:
The New Cell Block at Port Augusta Prison is located within an existing operational High Security Prison and was completed in 2 stages. The first new high security cell block to be built in South Australia in over 25 years, the design represents contemporary thinking in cell block design incorporating efficient planning to minimise staffing requirements, safe cell design and numerous Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) initiatives.
The design incorporates 2 separate wings each with 2 levels of cells in a mezzanine arrangement that open on to a 2 storey association space. The centrally located officers station separates the two wings and provides visual surveillance of all cell doors and external exercise yards.
The first stage (Early Works) created a new ‘secure zone’ within the existing prison compound and new perimeter gates to enable construction of the new cell block (separation of prisoner population and unimpeded access to the site for construction personnel, equipment and materials). The zone fence has been designed as permanent structure that will provide improved internal security.
The design is characterised by the extensive use of natural light and fresh air with operable high and low level windows linked to the Building Management System to minimise the need for air-conditioning on the many days in Pt Augusta when outside ambient conditions are suitable. The windows at high and low levels promote the stack effect and provide cross ventilation to naturally cool the association spaces and draw air through secure air grilles in the cells. The use of ‘thermomass’ precast panels as the external wall construction and precast internal walls and ceilings provides a high level of thermal insulation with the level of robustness required. The abundance of fresh air and natural light have created an environment that is healthy and energy efficient and has resulted in a noticeable improvement in prisoner behaviour and wellbeing.