The border between Nogales, Arizona, and its sister city of the same name in Sonora, Mexico, has evolved over the years, both in meaning and physical appearance. This edge condition between countries can be read as a barometer of foreign relations. Originally marked by a tree-lined boulevard, open to the flows of people, commerce, and language, the border is now fortified by a steel bollard fence that ranges from 18 to 24 feet in height. The design of the fence is intended to block the passage of people, drugs, and violence, while providing a window for border patrol agents to see oncoming threats. This structure has rerouted immigration patterns from border cities to the harsh, barren, and arid landscapes of the Sonoran Desert, leading to a spike in migrant deaths as they journey in search of a new life.
In response to these challenges and conflicts, my proposal simultaneously acknowledges the presence of the fence but actively seeks to change it’s use, and thus its meaning. By directly engaging the fence with a new columbarium typology, the window into another country is framed by the memory of the dead.
Status: School Project
Location: Nogales, AZ, US