Project Type:Port of Entry, Border Control StationProject Location:M-11, Mile Marker 0
Columbus, New Mexico 88029
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Awards and Acknowledgements:AIA Committee on the Environment:2020 Top TenDesign Features:Native Landscaping, Weathered Steel, Prefabrication, Photovoltaics
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The project is a remote port of entry in the Chihuahuan Desert adjacent to Puerto Palomas, Mexico. Best known for its frontier history and Pancho Villaâ€™s brief incursion, this border crossing now accommodates daily pedestrians, private vehicles, commercial (primarily agricultural) goods, and 800-plus school children who cross each day to go to school in the United States.
While providing safe, efficient, and expanded international entry processing for people and goods, this new port of entry design aspires to welcome travelers to America with architecture that inspires and conveys our countryâ€™s better virtuesâ€”architecture that serves and respects all people, embraces culture, conserves resources, nurtures ecology, protects habitat, celebrates diversity, and conveys a love of the land. The designâ€™s integrated and expressed response to this breadth of sustainability opportunities is the mechanism for creating and conveying this message. The rhythm and silhouette of photovoltaic, clerestoried roof monitors echo distant mountains. Colored brick strata and weathered steel extend the patterns of earth and grasses that reach the horizon. Terraced native landscaping and sculpted ground plane tell visitors the story of the scarcity, the power, and the harvest of water in the desert. Shaded exteriors and daylit interiors shelter and harness the desert sun.
(Source: AIA COTE 2020)