Dec 31, 2009

Border Wall = Immigrant Museum?

Pier-Museum by Mario Cottone and Gregorio Indelicato

Italian architects Mario Cottone and Gregorio Indelicato propose an immigrant "Pier-Museum" which, pointing out to sea, will stand as a "horizontal monument" to all the immigrants who have arrived on these shores in search of a better future. The 100 meter long structure will point out to sea off Miami Beach and will house a museum in which the personal effects, souvenirs and photos belonging to the new generation of immigrants will be exhibited - those who came to the city of Miami from the 1950's to the 1980's in search of their own personal American Dream. To this end, this "Pier-Museum" is to function as an architectural landmark and serve as a space commemorating the new urban dynamic of the city,the global multiculturalism which defines the beginning of the 21st century. The design was the winning entry in a competition hosted by the University of Miami School of Architecture and Arquitectum.

Border Wall looking towards Tijuana, Mexico at Border Fields State Park

It is not clear if the Italian architects are aware of the western terminus of the border wall as it dives into the Pacific Ocean, a manifestation of, and symbolizing, the tensions that are directed at immigrants seeking a better future in the U.S. Is their proposal a political statement, irony or serendipity?

Dec 19, 2009

Border Wall as Infrastructure

Border Wall as Infrastructure, a design proposal for re-imagining the border wall between the United States and Mexico, was designed by Rael San Fratello Architects and selected as a finalist in the WPA 2.0 Competition. Two examples can be seen below and more information on the project can be found here.

The most untapped potential for solar development in the United States lies along the U.S./Mexico border. Solar farms, in turn, are highly secure installations. What if we were to reallocate some of the funds used simply to construct and maintain the border wall for the construction of energy infrastructure along the border? We would actually create scenarios in many instances that are more secure than the existing wall, and that simultaneously provide solar energy to the energy hungry cities of the southwest.

The border wall can and should be envisioned as a linear urban park through certain urban geographies. When supplemented with green spaces, connected to schools, libraries and other parks, there is no reason not to think of the wall as the organizing condition for an urban park, offering pedestrian and bicycle routes through the city. The linear park, in turn, has the potential to increase adjacent property values and the quality of life on both sides of the border while providing an important green corridor through the city.

Dec 18, 2009