• MArch

    A. Ryan Coleman
    Alix Daguin
    Aubrey Davidson
    Benjamin Leavitt
    Blake Hudelson
    Cesar Adrian Lopez
    Clara Tresgallo
    Clarissa Urquico
    Dane Bunton
    David Fredlund
    Desiree Fox
    Edgardo Peña
    Garrett Ryan Miller
    Greg Baker
    Hadit Mejia Castro
    Jaime Pangelinan
    Jasmine Zhou
    Kenneth Lin
    Kristina Kotlier
    Lawrence Davidson
    Lee Seon Hou
    Matthew Arnold
    Michael Atherton
    Mulhem Khogeer
    Nastaran Mousavi
    Osma Dossani
    Philip Jones
    Sarah Lucy Estephan
    Tammy LePham
    Zachary Moore

  • Cesar Adrian Lopez - CCA Graduate Thesis Events

    Cesar Adrian Lopez

    The El Paso + Ciudad Juarez Borderland
    New Moments and Exchanges
    Architectural Acts
    New Political Territories
    Flushing out the Mexican Cartel
    New Political Representation
    Subtracted No-Mans Land Space 1
    Subtracted No-Mans Land Space 2
    River over River

    The El Paso + Ciudad Juarez Borderland

    The Borderlands landscape is a subjected to the geo-political od the U.S. / Mexico Boundary.

    While El Paso and Ciudad Juarez are legally defined as separate they have share many attributes in the borderland. Most significantly is a the Rio Grande River which has meandered shifted north and south of the region since the early 19th century. According to legislation - national land is only defined as land leading up to the river front; meaning that the river span and air space above the river is nationally unaffiliated. The river is a No Mans-land.


    Thesis Proposal

    The current political, social and violent condition in the borderland is a resultant of the current political river configurations, limited border crossings, and the large amount of vacant spaces which lead to the Cartel opportune occupancy. What this thesis proposes is the transformation of the Rio Grande River into an architectural agent that responds to issues in the El Paso / Ciudad Juarez borderland.

    New Moments and Exchanges

    New Spaces of Trans-border Exchange and Relationships.

    The newly present No Mans-Land in the region has the potential to facilitate new programs concentrated on reviving the trans-border community in a space in which they are nationally unaffiliated. These are pleasantly ambiguous political spaces.

    Architectural Acts

    Large Scale Phasing

    The city will first experience in large scale transformation by identifying improper voids and Cartel occupancy. By subtracting the context that keep these spaces hidden and secluded. The rivers path within the city will now suggest a clearly excavate path and connecting these spaces will bind and blend into a extra-territorial space within the two cities. .

    New Political Territories

    A region of two cities - two countries - two politics is now introduced to new space.

    The river will create a new blurred landscape in the borderland. New region of constant political representations and crossing creating and new gradient of political descriptions and conditions.

    Flushing out the Mexican Cartel

    Decolonization Phases and Spatial Transformations of Improper Voids.

    The Mexican Cartel are opportunists and breed on the ground of abandoned space and barren lots. The large scale architectural acts of the river will inherently transform hidden improper voids within city blocks into exposed highly publicized spaces. These spaces will be programmed with highly active walkways and incremental spaces that suggests a new consumer scaled trans-border exchanges. This will invigorate a new economic relationship through the No-Mans Land.

    New Political Representation

    Political Geography translated at the neighborhood scale.

    The rive now meanders through out neighborhoods instigating transformation across scales. The territorial elements of the old river - concrete channel, river and bridge is now represented as a active program..

    Subtracted No-Mans Land Space 1

    Subtracted No-Mans Land Space

    Subtracted No-Mans Land Space 2

    Subtracted No-Mans Land Space

    River over River

    The New Hyper Political Moment in the El Paso and Ciudad Juarez Borderland

    As the Rio Grande River has diversified in form - flow and path is will now Impose a sublime behavior upon the two cities. With its inherent political description, the river will define, create as well as dispel space. The river as it traces through the two cities will at many points crossed itself. Creating the most highly ambiguous political moment in the borderland. These completely removed spaces from national affiliation will become new mediated transitional points from the two cities - lending themselves to serve as the new bi-national checkpoints.

    The El Paso + Ciudad Juarez Borderland thumbnail
    Concept  thumbnail
    New Moments and Exchanges thumbnail
    Architectural Acts thumbnail
    New Political Territories thumbnail
    Flushing out the Mexican Cartel thumbnail
    New Political Representation thumbnail
    Subtracted No-Mans Land Space 1 thumbnail
    Subtracted No-Mans Land Space 2 thumbnail
    River over River thumbnail



    Thesis Abstract

    Borderlands is a political experiment on the geopolitics of El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juarez, MX.
    El Paso and Ciudad Juarez confront one another like an estranged couple – surrounded on all sides by desert and mountains, separated only by the thin trickle of the Rio Grande River.

    Historically these cities have exchanged many moments with one another having once been a single thriving community. However they are now severed by the recent enforcement of the policies of the U.S. / Mexico border. The border between El Paso and Juarez is not some abstract line drawn on a map – the border in this region is the Rio Grande River. The state of the two cities is reflected in the state of the river that runs between them. Before the border was set in place, the river flowed without any interruption or constraint – and as did the people to crossed it daily. The river is objectified running through concrete channels, regulated in flow by upstream dams.

    Today the river is dry appearing to be nothing more than a voided spectacle. However the Rio Grande river has a strong political significance. According to bi-national legislation states that the national territory of El Paso and Juarez is only defined as land leading up to the river front – this means that the river space – water – and airspace above it is unaffiliated with US or Mexico – thus considered to be a No-Mans-Land.