Arquine Call for Entries: Threshold of the Americas

The Arquine International Architecture Competition has been held since 1998 and aims to explore issues of significance and relevance for society as a whole, foster new platforms for dialogue and promote the involvement of architects in responding to specific problems, while encouraging local and international competition and participation.

Over time it has become one of the design competitions in the field of architecture with the broadest scope and reach. Last year over 420 teams from 22 countries around the world sent proposals.

On this occasion Arquine addresses an issue of timeless importance that will open up new possibilities of discussion, with an open, international call for entries for the design of the threshold between Tijuana and San Ysidro: the transit point that responds to the programmatic needs of those who cross the border here. At the same time it should be viewed as a point of reference of a monumental nature for the busiest border in the world.

According to the May 2013 report by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), every year 13,672,329 automobiles cross the border at the Tijuana – San Ysidro border crossing—double the number of cars on the streets of Sao Paulo and four times the number in —while the total number of passengers they convey amounts to 34,180,000—almost equal to the population of Canada. On average they take 45 minutes to cross, according to a study by the Business Advisory Board of Tijuana. Meanwhile, the number of border crossings made on foot totals 9 million individuals. As a result the zone is constantly bustling with activity, occupied by different kinds of people—those who cross, those who wish to cross and those who have failed to cross—an accumulation of people who occupy the space on a practically permanent basis, in a perennial state of indefinite waiting. Meanwhile, the State appears unable to solve the lack of clarity in migration issues, or provide the minimum conditions of security and protection the location demands.

More information after the break.

Arquine Conference nº14: Space

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Architects could never explain space. When we think about space, we have only looked at its containers. As if space itself is invisible.
Rem Koolhaas 

History has granted architecture the role of dividing up space. It manifests itself in providing lodging and orienting humankind, who inhabits this fragmented whole we call space and which is interwoven with time at a tacit and essential level.

We live in space, in these spaces, in these cities, in these fields, in these corridors, in these gardens. It is plain to see. And yet, it is not possible to quantify space or give shape to it: it is extension and connection, fact and certainty through time and movement. Space may be travelled through and narrated, experienced and actuated. Space contains and is contained, situates and signifies.

Arquine raises the question “what do we talk when we talk about space?” in order to explore the different meanings it conveys. The conference presents multi-disciplinary perspectives to redeem the value of each of these and thereby reveal the “Species of Spaces”.

The Arquine Conference Nº14 will gather important architects throughout the world discussing these matters. David Chipperfield, Atelier Bow Wow, Delugan Meissl, and Denise Scott Brown will be part of one of the most important architecture events in Latin America, taking part from March 11 to March 12 in the Teatro Metropólitan at , Mexico.

The problem isn’t so much to find out how we have reached this point, but simply to recognize that we have reached it, that we are here. There isn’t one space, a beautiful space round about, a beautiful space all around us, there’s a whole lot of small bits of space…
George Perec

More information (in Spanish) can be found here.

Re-inhabit the 21st century: Social Housing from the Modern Paradigm Competition

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With a continuing interest in the exploration of socially important and relevant issues, encouraging the creation of spaces for dialog and the participation of architects resolving concerns through proposed projects; Arquine summons participants to its 15th International Architecture Contest to Re-inhabit the 21st century. Social Housing from the Modern Paradigm.

For this edition of the competition, Arquine joins forces with CANADEVI (National Chamber for the Development industry and promotion of Housing), with the aim of expanding its reach and assuring the participation of the main social contributors faced with the proposed subject matter, Housing in the 21st Century.