Dezeen Magazine

Legorreta bridge project

Legorreta defies Trump wall proposal with bold purple bridge across US-Mexico border

Rather than building a wall along Mexico's border as suggested by US presidential candidate Donald Trump, Mexican firm Legorreta has created a terminal and bridge that make the crossing quicker.

Legorreta's Cross Border Xpress (CBX) bridges Otay, USA, and Tijuana, Mexico – between the existing San Ysidro and Otay Mesa border crossings.

Legorreta bridge project

Clad in bold purple panelling, the 14,788-square-foot (1,374-square-metre) enclosed pedestrian walkway connects the existing Tijuana International Airport in Mexico with a new airport terminal in San Diego.

The terminal and bridge offers a strong contrast to Republican nominee Trump's idea to build a wall along the border for keeping illegal immigrants out of the US.

Legorreta bridge project

"The US-Mexico Border is the busiest in the world and one of the most fortified ones," said Legorreta. "The facility is built on a plot located in Otay, San Diego, to expedite the crosswalk at the US-Mexico border."

"The cross border needed to have a direct connection between the migration departments of both countries to mitigate traffic in the current checkpoint, this way Otay Cross Border Xpress becomes an unprecedented contribution to the region."

Legorreta bridge project

The firm, previously known as Legorreta + Legorreta, divided the terminal building into two angled wings with an open courtyard at the centre.

A red limestone wall, chosen to reference the architecture surrounding the terminal, wraps the entire structure. The pair of halls, on either side of the courtyard, are topped by a level of glazing and a broad flat roof.

Legorreta bridge project

"The great horizontal cantilevers with a bold and simple geometry make the CBX facility a threshold that marks the crossing point between the two Californias that are linked by their history, biculturalism and geography," said Legorreta.

Ticket counters, security and duty-free shopping occupy these areas, which feature touches of onyx, including high-hanging black slabs near ticket counters and white spheres at the top the escalators.

Legorreta bridge project

The open space between the halls is enclosed by purple walls with a series of thin, vertical openings. Legorreta added a pool and an ash tree to the area, creating a place for passengers to pause and enjoy while travelling.

There is also a stone garden square next to it, which is filled with agave and other desert plants.

Legorreta bridge project

"One of its aims was to create a space in which this stop becomes a more rewarding experience for those travelling from one country to another," said the team.

Legorreta bridge project

Last month, Mexican firm Estudio 3.14 mocked the Trump's wall concept with its Barragán-inspired pink barrier  – one of a variety of satirical designs that suggest the design community doesn't like him very much.

Many designers have unveiled politically influenced projects ahead of the US presidential election, which takes place next week on 8 November 2016.

Legorreta bridge project

Milton Glaser has also created a series of colourful posters encouraging Americans to head to polling stations, while Design Army released chocolate bar packaging with six illustrations that represent different political opinions.

Photography is by David Harrison.

Project credits:

Architecture and interior design: Legorreta
Legorreta team: Ricardo Legorreta, Víctor Legorreta, Miguel Almaraz, Adriana Ciklik, Carlos Vargas, Miguel Alatriste, Emmanuel Pérez Eguiarte, Andrés Martínez-Lanz, Roberto López, Lourdes del Val, Lucía Cervantes and Arturo Violante.
Associate and executive architect: Stantec Architecture
Stantec LTD team: Arun Kaiwar, Christopher Wilson, Steve Cook, Dave Knoll, Michael Tatoyan, and Mike Canevari.
Landscape architecture: Stantec Consulting
Structural design: Hope Amundson Structural Engineers – Building
MEP Design: Stantec Consulting
Acoustical design: Stantec Architecture
Lighting consultant: Visual Concepts
Security consultant: US Customs and Border Protection
Cost consultant: Turner Construction Company

More images and plans

Legorreta bridge project
Legorreta bridge project