2018 | San Luis, AZ | Land Port of Entry | 7,900 sq ft | $5.2 million

The San Luis Land Port of Entry is the passage connecting thousands of migratory workers to the vast agricultural fields of the Colorado River Valley near Yuma Arizona. This 1980’s era land port has been stressed to exhaustion and the first new building – designed to specifically augment the daily pedestrian flow – will act as a “seed” building for the future reimagining of the overall port.

With the pedestrian experience in mind, we found inspiration for the building design in the flow of water through the grooved rows of earth in the nearby agriculture fields. A sense of movement through this processing building is achieved by extruding a “zig-zag” section along the path of travel and opening the highpoints to natural daylight via narrow linear skylights. The space of the interior has a distinct flow and openness as a result – responding to the goals of pedestrian movement and creating a safe, secure environment.

With the interior shaped by the flow of water, the exterior, by contrast – specifically the east and west sun screens – are inspired by the absence of water. The life blood of the region, the nearby Colorado River runs dry as it passes Yuma and upon studying the erosion patterns of the dry river bed we discovered the shapes employed to control the intense morning and evening sun.