Arena de Ciudad
The graduation studio Borders-the Architecture of violence (University of Delft, Netherlands) researches on border conditions at rigid borders, where two worlds collide. The focus of the studio was on the border between the United States of America and Mexico. This border with a long history of conflicts, alterations and discrepancies has unfortunately caused for a mostly negative perception of the border area. The project is located on one of the major connecting spines between the two city centers and is easy accessible from both cities. This spine links the downtown area of El Paso to the border bridge and the bullfighting arena in Ciudad Juarez creating a strong connection between them.
Situated in the west of Texas on the border is the city of El Paso. Divided by a wall and a concrete ditch fifty meters wide Ciudad Juarez is seperated on the other side of the Border.
The isolation of Ciudad Juarez in the last years has caused for what used to be a city centre vibrant with activity and tourists to now be desolate. Most of the bars, markets, attractions and recreation were forced to close and have left empty voids within the city. Promenades and pedestrian areas have fallen in decay.
This all leads to the urge to reconnect the cities. By reconnecting the city centers, which have a true distance of less than two kilometers, we can start the stitching of the cities. The downtown area of El Paso has a vibrant cultural and economic life. Which is very attractive for individuals from within as well outside of the city. Through making the center of Ciudad Juarez and the border itself attractions/vibrant areas we create a desire to cross the border in both directions. Thus stimulating the local community and changing the perception of the area.
The project proposes a very public and attractive program in the form of a new bullfighting arena in the city center of Ciudad Juarez. The project is located on one of the major connecting spines between the two city centers and is easy accessible from both cities. This spine links the downtown area of El Paso to the border bridge and the bullfighting arena in Ciudad Juarez creating a strong connection between them. As a part of an overall masterplan to reconnect the cities the project aims to do this on all scales, from a very local stimulation of activity and reestablishing of the community in Mexico to connecting the border cities and with this the border region as whole.