Regenerating the border

Personal project in Advanced Design Studio, Fall 2016, University of Texas at Austin

Professor Fernando Luiz Lara



Between Laredo (Texas, U.S.) and Nuevo Laredo(Mexico), there is the Rio Grande river, which divides into two nations. The two opposite cities historically have a similar urban fabric. However, those cities obviously have a different density because of perception of the border. Most Mexicans think the border is attractive area, but most Americans recognize the border as a dangerous zone.


I have a plan to make specific connections at the riverside of both cities. The building that I want to propose binds not only pedestrians but also vehicle circulations. Between the circulations, it will be placed by Duty-free shops, which have diverse goods and medical centers that are needed to the other side. At the center of the building, there will be sports facilities like kayak platforms, swimming pools, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, and a plaza near the river.

As gradually making this area safer, more active and attractive, it would change buffer zones between two cities to public spaces for people. Also, I anticipate that it will be a major role of facilitating people to cross more freely.


Model photo, View of the U.S, Laredo

Longitudinal drawing 


Master plan in 2040