projet amenities


Competition of ideas for the redefinition of the US-Mexico border
TIJUANA  [Mexico]

The city of Tijuana 
Malabar architectes
François Terrier






The urban fabric of the city of Tijuana is split by the border. While San Diego treats its cross-border flows in a breathable space buffer, Tijuana must manage her border within a very strong urban density (mixing all types of socioeconomic levels). Flow management is dispersed, and poorly identified. Our project proposes a restructuring of this space in order to clarify and give the city an idea of flux by reinterpreting the object that was the chaparral.

Five main flows determine this border crossing: pedestrian migrants, pedestrian tourists, trams, fast cars and normal cars. They gather in a poetic project allowing to see its 'organs', its directions, placed like a scaled reference to the city. Perceived in cross sections, this ensemble of structures induces the notion of limits and crossing, as well as accompaniment and reception.



Stuck between the before and the after, the migrant goes through a process during which he is neither inside nor outside the country: he becomes the border. During this crossing, the temporality is suspended, consisting of wandering. Our project is the proposal of several paths, different stories punctuated by urban sequences sometimes intimate or opposed to the city. Suspended at the top of this structure, the passer-by looks forward and backward, the barrier of the border on the ground is dominated and shaped by this suspended temporality. Architecture comes to express the freedom to see beyond the limit, to project, to gain height and to surrender for a moment. We also propose highlighting the Rio as a public space. The dried-up Rio is reflected in the surface of the flows to give the city another reflection of itself, like a mirage.

Finally, the interlaced flows create in their gaps the accompanying structures necessary for the border crossing process. The social program in the northern part of the process is in contact with customs posts. The amphitheater is located at the heart of the project suspended above the river, a real place of exchange, it becomes the landmark of this project. Finally, the more playful program of the project comes to life in the southern part, connecting with the historical center.