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Miami architects design green alternative to border wall
Jill Odom | January 6, 2017
Image of what the border DOMO architecture would look like along the coast

The Coastal Border Beautification area would have a public park to be shared by citizens of both nations and a pier.
Photo: DOMO Architecture + Design

Donald Trump’s infamous wall at the Mexican border has been met with scorn by some, eagerness by others, but one Miami Beach architectural firm has suggested a green option.

DOMO Architecture + Design created the Sustainable Natural Border design as a solution that is more balanced and uses a positive approach. The firm did not work on the project for political reasons, but rather used it as a conceptual exercise for its staff.

“We wanted to show through design that there are alternatives to building a wall, which is both a visual and physical barrier and culturally insensitive to either country,” principal Robert Moehring told . “So the solution is more of an open landscape.”


A ha-ha would create a barrier without obstructing the view.
Photo: DOMO Architecture + Design

In verdant areas, the design would use a ha-ha to separate the border without disrupting the visual of the landscape. A ha-ha is a turfed slope that declines to meet a vertical retaining face. They were popular in 17th and 18th century country gardens to keep livestock from venturing onto lawns.

DOMO would use three 8-foot, 6-inch steel shipping containers stacked on top of each other to provide the wall that the slope would lead down to.

“So the beauty of this is that by the time you are at grade, it has disappeared,” said principal Francisco Llado. “You don’t see it.”

In desert sections, a canyon would be created with the shipping containers as well.

The architectural firm estimates that 750,000 shipping containers would be needed for the project. Because they had no intention of presenting the plans to the president-elect, they did not estimate the cost. However, they did say it would be less than a concrete wall.

One portion of the design calls for a Coastal Border Beautification area that would serve as a public park for citizens of both countries to mingle and even stretches into the sea to form a pier.

“Our intent is to create landmark architecture that is highly sensitive and responsive to its context and climate while establishing a perfect equilibrium of design, sustainability, and economic viability,” DOMO’s website says.


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