Martinez, Michael S.
Master of Architecture
The border crossing bridges that connect Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua to El Paso, Texas are among the most dynamic public spaces in the city. While people wait to cross, they work and play, buy and sell, watch and perform. The bridge is one instance where la linea becomes thick enough and where crossing becomes slow enough to reveal the border's true nature as an ephemeral and expansive transition zone. This thesis documents several architectural and urban elements that exist on the border---fences, bridges, maquiladoras, colonias---with an interest in better understanding the transition zone. It then focuses on a historically disputed territory in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso as a laboratory for the redeployment of these elements, exploring ways of capitalizing on the urban possibilities in between.