Work details
Application Number 0000801640
Author Wang, Catherine , United States
Coauthors Song, Rui , China
Wang, Catherine , United States
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Work title: infra_FILTER (0000801640)

The construction of a US-Mexico border fence has proved an increasingly divisive method for securing the southern US border since its initial construction as the San Diego Fence in 1990. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 the construction of a US-Mexico border fence has morphed from a method to stem the tide of illegal immigration from Mexico into a legislated method to prevent the entrance of terrorists. All terrorists except two have gained entrance into the US through manipulation of the US immigration system. Those two exceptions crossed the US-Canada border. This study proposes supplanting segments of the fence with soft nodes of infrastructure that are productive and perform as public interfaces in this terrain vague. The quality of the Rio Grande is of critical importance to the millions of people who rely of the river for drinking and irrigation water. In places, such as near the river’s headwaters, water quality is excellent. Elsewhere it is poor, such as immediately downstream from certain cities. The main known water quality problems involve high levels of fecal coliform bacteria, sediment, salts, pesticides, and heavy metals. Processes of water treatment serve as the framework for an architectural intervention. The structure embedded in the river serves as a filtration system that acts horizontally and vertically. The natural hydraulics of the river are used to filter the Rio Grande as it passes through the structure''s series of hyperbolic pods. Rain and runoff is filtered from above through phytovegetation and catch basins. Public programming is weaved in with the water treatment infrastructure. The ground condition serves as a neutral terrain for both U.S. and Mexico.