On average, over forty million people cross the border between Tijuana and San Diego each year, giving this region the title of the busiest land-border crossing in the world. For cultural and political reasons, this geopolitical liminal space is experienced as hostile, its crossing is traumatic or tedious. The unwelcoming walls and secure ports of entry create separation for two contrasting cities.
The negatively charged character of the border is largely caused by ‘soft’ conditions that lead to physical conditions: political immigration policies dictated by both administrations lead to divisive walls, and stringent security measures lead to long lines and tedious waits. Differing social and economic conditions on either side of the border make this location the nexus of an interesting merge of cultures, giving the site a rich and complex socio-political context.
Two walls, each with a different cultural character, physically define the borderline that divides The United States and Mexico. In reality, these two walls stand on either side of this invisible geopolitical line, shaping an unoccupied urban interior. This interstitial space can be engaged by designing an interior, focused on the pedestrian scale that enhances and improves the existing border crossing and immigration experience, while still maintaining current political and immigration procedures.
Thesis Advisor: Mark Rakatansky