Awards & Honors

Students Win Honors in Unbuild the Wall Competition

A four-person team of graduate architecture and landscape architecture students won the first Honorable Mention in Archstorming’s summer 2017 international competition Unbuild the WallTheir proposal, ACROSS | CRUZAR, transforms the US-Mexico border wall at Nogales into a social and cultural hub and stretches the footprint of the border into a formal, bi-national territory where people sharing the same culture from either side can exchange ideas, goods, and community.

Robynne Heymans MLA I ’18, Kate Jirasiritham MLA I ’18, Marcos Gasc M Arch I ’18, and Ben Grinblatt M Arch ’18 worked together on the design. Its modular structure–flexible in all three dimensions–repurposes steel in a sustainable and economical process from the existing wall deconstructed. The construction system is scalable, assembling into different spatial configurations and a spectrum of more open to more dense spaces in the wall.

The competition challenged architecture students and architects from all over the world to design inclusive spaces on the US-Mexican border to replace Donald Trump’s Border Wall project. The chosen location was the emblematic border crossing of the city of Nogales, which is already divided by the wall. The international jury included the Mayor of Nogales and the architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, Gold Medal of Spanish architecture 2016, among other renowned architects and experts. Submissions came from more than 25 different countries.