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Criminal Pathology Labs

"Having worked with architects before who just didn't listen to our requirements, it was a pleasure to work with rla. They guided us through the possible solutions to our brief and the result was a design which fulfilled all of our needs."

Steve Sharkey, Unit Manager

Centre for Criminal Pathology

We were retained by this national charity to develop a design for increasing the residential capacity of this high security centre where the criminally insane are housed during rehabilitation. This unit is part of a UK trial to assess the reduction in re-offending rates demonstrated in other European countries where these centres are commonplace.


The site and the surrounding area are heavily populated and it was therefore not possible to extend the footprint of the building. The brief called for an imaginative design solution to increase the capacity of the unit by reconfiguring internal spaces.


The complex nature of the interrelationships between staff and users informed the design process. The final design incorporated separation via airlocks whilst not appearing to be heavily influenced by the prison type accommodation seen in similar facilities.


The ethos of reform through nurture is key to the success of this facility and it was important that users did not feel that their environment was part of a punishment regime. The proposal included a staff sleep room where night staff could rest but be on call if needed. The staff sleep room was designed to match exactly the facilities provided for the users thus reinforcing the common ground principal so important in criminal rehabilitation.

Value; £85,000

Duration; -

Contract; Direct appointment

Procurement; n/a

Client; Turning Point

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