Westchester County Detention Center

Valhalla, New York

In response to severe overcrowding, Westchester County engaged Urbahn to design the a new 530-cell secure detention facility. Urbahn’s planning was based on the direct supervision of housing units and related program areas. Two control rooms per floor each overlook two 44-bed housing units, dayrooms, and their central program areas. Our work also included the design of a temporary modular jail and conversion of existing space into a 100-bed dormitory to provide swing space during construction.

The four housing units define the building quadrants, anchored by stair towers in the four corners. To soften the aspect of a large correctional building, we employed warm salmon brick with lavender accents. Outdoor recreation decks at each housing unit were articulated as a compositional element and enclosed with coated security screening. The project was featured by the New York Times as an exemplar of progressively humane correctional environments.

Client: Westchester County Department of Public Works
Photographer: Urbahn Architects PLLC