Inside of the “Koepelgevangenis” (Dome or Panopticon Prison”) in Arnhem, the Netherlands.
The panopticon is a type of prison building originally designed by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1785. The panopticon was intended to be a prison that allowed the guard to observe any of the inmates without them knowing if and when they were being watched. The design features a central platform surrounded by a ring of cells – thus enabling a clear view of every prisoner.
Worldwide are about 25 panopticon-inspired prisons built, in the Netherlands 3.
The panopticon (Koepelgevangenis) in Arnhem is a cylinder, 55 meter (180 feet) in diameter, composed of 4 layers of 50 cells (200 at the most), topped by a dome that is 46 meter (150 feet) at its highest point. Built in 1880-1886 for solitary confinement, with an observation tower in the centre. Recently-renovated in 1995.
The Netherlands actually has 3 almost identical panopticons in Haarlem (built between 1895-1901), Breda (built between 1886-1895) and Arnhem (built between 1880-1886).
“Before you go make you anxious. I come here regularly for my work.
This photo was made around lunch time. Related to the privacy of prisoners and guards, they are obviously not photographed. The prisoners have lunch in their cell, and guards were out of the picture.” – Martien Uiterweerd