Anticipating Venice: In Tijuana all architecture is social

Architecture, Urbanism, West
Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ad hoc architecture in Tijuana (Rene Peralta)

On a Friday evening in early January, roughly 50 Tijuana denizens met at the currently established architecture academy, Escuela Libre de Arquitectura, located near the Tijuana red-light district of Zona Norte. They were gathered to hear anthropologist Pablo Landa, curator of the Mexican pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, speak about the focus of the pavilion. Students, architects and members of different local NGO’s took the occasion to dialogue with Landa about the role a city like Tijuana could have within the theme Reporting From the Front set by biennale director Alejandro Aravena.

Continue reading after the jump.

Plan uses solar, algae to transform the Tijuana River into sustainable infrastructure

The plan transforms the concrete channel into a sustainable piece of urban infrastructure. (Courtesy GENERICA Architects)

The plan transforms the concrete channel into a sustainable piece of urban infrastructure. (Courtesy GENERICA Architects)

All the chatter may be around Frank Gehry and the Los Angeles River, but that waterway is not the only channelized river on the West Coast. More than 40 years ago a 10.5-mile long stretch of the Tijuana River was concretized as a flood control channel to make more development possible. If Gehry’s scheme is all about hydrology, a new proposal for the Tijuana River is about electricity.

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Eavesdrop> Borderline Personalities: SHoP Architects could be designing a project in Tijuana

(Xiquinho Silva / Flickr)

(Xiquinho Silva / Flickr)

Seemingly ubiquitous in New York City, SHoP Architects may be taking its urbane brand south of the border, and not just for tacos. The firm won’t confirm or deny rumors that it chatted with Alfonso Medina of T38 Studio about a Tijuana-based project.

Architect Forced To Be Drug Mule.  Tijuana Cultural Center designed by Eugenio Velazquez (Courtesy of Goo Local Tijuana) Architecture and drug smuggling don’t usually occupy the same space in a news story, but today architect Eugenio Velazquez, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, was sentenced to a 6-month term for trying to bring 12.8 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. in a special lane for pre-screened, trusted motorists. Velazquez received a lighter sentence after explaining to the judge that drug traffickers had threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t comply with their demands to smuggle the cocaine. Velazquez has designed several important buildings in Tijuana including a police headquarters and the Tijuana Cultural Center (known as El Cubo). He’s currently working on Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral and plans to move forward with the project.


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