Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program is intended to challenge students to explore a variety of design issues related to the innovative use of long span steel in design and construction. The program was to design a border-crossing station sited on a boundary between two countries. This site focuses on Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic are separated by more than just a border. Language, economics, and landscape are some of the things which divide these two countries. The concept of this border station is to create point of convergence through a unified language. Culture is the language understood by both sides. Through a shared appreciation of art, music, performance and dance a two-story, 30,000 sq. ft. floating cultural arts center on lake Étang Saumâtre functions as an international neutral zone and landmark for both locals and travelers. This is a pedestrian focused border station tying in with the pre existing local markets. It is a place where performances occur and market vendors showcase their products. Artwork is displayed in a living gallery where greenery and benches provide areas of reflection. The sequence of the border crossing experience promotes serenity, acceptance and neutrality. The installation redirects traffic circulation to better organize border operations and provide recreational public green areas. Materials include structural steel, wood louvers, and semi Lexan-polycarbonate panels. Sustainable strategies include using local reclaimed Bayawonn wood, natural light and ventilation through louvers and sun-shades, and recycled oil barrels as flotation devices.