THE RETENTION CENTRE
Global mass migration has coincided with an unprecedented growth in support of far right political parties in Italy. One of which, Lega Nord, uses hateful propaganda to advocate a nationalist and xenophobic stance towards immigration, leading to an unsustainable and potentially hostile situation. Lega Nord have plans to close Italy’s ports to rescue ships, repatriate half a million immigrants and build many more detention centres, facilities built to incarcerate and exploit the disenfranchised. It was through a direct reaction to this inhumanity that the concept of a Retention Centre was born. The Retention Centre seeks to nurture arrivals by granting them the facilities to overcome barriers to vital, resourceful and existential equality, such that they can make an informed, voluntary decision to remain. The project aims to foster the bilateral exchange of skills, experiences and cultures to emphasise how symbiosis between native and foreign populations will lead to mutual prosperity. Whilst acknowledging that a single building alone cannot solve a global crisis, we intend to use architectural design to communicate how a progressive and inclusive standpoint can influence wider political discourse.
As a key part of the thesis, the Design Manifesto outlined the intentions and research of the project.