Southern Border of the United States
National Border Crossing
2,000 miles long
Eric McNevin, Jose Herrasti
"A Fence With More Beauty, Fewer Barbs", New York Times, June 18, 2006
A concept strategy for the re?design of the US?Mexican border at the request of the New York Times. The Foreign Affairs editor asked us to suggest a border strategy that would alleviate the current social and political tensions. What should the border look like?
The project connects a landscape design concept with the policy issues that divide Mexico and the United States. In a broader sense the proposal is a speculation on whether that sort of policy question is a legitimate subject for architecture. Other than the predictable walls and fences, is there a form language for national border security. What are the connotations of a “walled” versus an “open” border. What’s shared between two nations, and what should remain discrete?
The solution here involves the construction of a 2,000 mile long earth mound, a multi?cultural promenade on raised earth, raised on the border itself, with traffic over the border directed through a series of Siqueiros’ murals on the walls of the tunnels to be excavated under the border/mound. Vertical glass tubes, a “glass forest”, are positioned on the mounds, bringing light to the under border tunnels, and orchestrating the parallel-to-the-border walk along the mound. This is the architecture of open borders and cultural exchange, forgoing the conventional manifestations of nation-to-nation insecurity.