the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Articles
  3. Geopolitical Borders Competition / Adrian Lahoud and Samuel Szwarcbord

Geopolitical Borders Competition / Adrian Lahoud and Samuel Szwarcbord

Geopolitical Borders Competition / Adrian Lahoud and Samuel Szwarcbord
rendering
rendering

Adrian Lahoud and Samuel Szwarcbord shared with us their honorable mention entry for the recent Geopolitical Borders Competition organized by Think Space and judged by Teddy Cruz. This project is about two lines, one existing and one proposed. The first line is invisible. It runs horizontally from east to west across the Mediterranean Sea. Like the contour lines on a weather forecast, it bends and twists according to the vast differentials of pressure between North and South. From the perspective of the African continent, Europe holds a minimal promise of opportunity that cannot be found at home. From the point of view of Europe, North Africa represents a local pool of labor power, ready to be dipped into at will, a steady reserve of energy (increasingly solar) and kilometers of unspoiled coast ready for development. Like any bad relationship, the asymmetry is secured through structural violence. This violence must be flexible enough to accommodate the contradictions and dynamics of both parties. Changing domestic imperatives, economic demands and legal requirements form plastic limits through which the stability of the line must be coordinated.

The second line is impossible. It loops around and circles the first in order to intensify its contradictions. It groups together a series of Mediterranean cities in order to form a single corridor of mobility that circles the sea. Passing through the center, the line divides every city in two. This leads to the first principle of contradiction: The line must cut in order to connect.

atlas expansion map
atlas expansion map

Eventually, the line begins to thicken and expand and a new transversal state is formed. The state is based on a principle of open citizenship and a guarantee of free passage. In each city a gridded sampling of the local urban fabric will be transplanted to the space formed between these limits. Like a reflection in a broken mirror, each city will see its fractured gaze returned. At certain moments, strategic crossings of the new belt city will become possible. This gives us our second principle of contradiction: The city plays host to its fantasmatic double / The city is hostage to its fantasmatic double.

atlas population and migration
atlas population and migration

Disparities between different halves of the same city will become more extreme; soon different languages will be spoken. Smugglers will try to move between them by crawling through illegal tunnels. Cheap goods, construction workers and capital will move in one direction, tourists and aid agencies will move in the other. The extreme wealth of the belt city will be a constant reminder of lack.

atlas political map
atlas political map

Like Beirut’s Green Line, or the walls in Berlin and the West Bank, the differentials of pressure build and build, until finally, the situation becomes intolerable.

atlas mediterranean unions
atlas mediterranean unions

Architect: Adrian Lahoud and Samuel Szwarcbord

atlas environmental outlook
atlas environmental outlook
atlas energy map
atlas energy map
atlas energy futures map
atlas energy futures map
atlas environment and agriculture map
atlas environment and agriculture map
Tunis map
Tunis map
Tel Aviv map
Tel Aviv map
Sophia map
Sophia map
Milan map
Milan map
Cairo map
Cairo map
Barcelona map
Barcelona map
Ankara map
Ankara map

View the complete gallery

About this author
Christopher Henry
Author
Cite: Christopher Henry. "Geopolitical Borders Competition / Adrian Lahoud and Samuel Szwarcbord " 08 Jul 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/149148/geopolitical-borders-competition-adrian-lahoud-and-samuel-szwarcbord/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.