Pic of the Day: Ikea Showroom or An Austrian Prison?

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Photo: Alfred Seiland for The New York Times

Welcome to architect Josef Hohensinn’s prison in the small Austrian town of Leoben; his design principle: “Maximum security outside; maximum freedom inside.”

As an article in this week’s New York Times Magazine notes: “In America, its public profile has been limited to a series of get-a-load-of-this e-mail messages and mocking blog posts (where the prison is often misidentified as a corrections center outside Chicago), but in Europe, Hohensinn’s design has become more of a model — not universally accepted, but not easily ignored either. It is the opening statement in a debate about what it means to construct a better prison. Already there are plans to build something like it outside of Berlin.”

Interesting, huh? Take a slideshow tour of the complex here.