Border Crossing Architecture
November 16, 2007, 1:21 am
Filed under: Architecture, Rural Architecture, Travel, Urban Architecture


Border Crossing Architecture Map
Here in the North-West border crossings are a significant part of life. It’s not uncommon to wait an hour or more at the Canadian border on our way to one of our favorite cities, Vancouver, B.C. With security measures constantly on the increase between nations, we spend more time at such border places. Subsequently the built-form that identifies these dividing lines becomes a more lasting and significant experience. Ports of Entry, Border Crossings, Border Posts, Border Stations, there are many terms and cultural differences – for the sake of this blog entry we are presenting a collection of architectures (not necessarily buildings) that signify the traversing of a national border. Some examples are entirely physical like driving your car up I-5 across the Canadian border; other examples represent an abstract international dividing line, like the customs facility at an international airport. Some are legal crossings, some illegal, some welcoming, and others hostile. Due to environmental, political and social factors these architectures tend to be formed by function and utility rather than artistry and decoration. Because the architecture is following a direct and often demanding function most of these projects are really quite modern in form. The same environment, political and social factors also produce an interesting diversity among the projects.

Point Roberts Border Facility USA + Canada
Pt. Roberts, WA, The Miller Hull Partnership

Point Roberts

Point Roberts

Air Canada International Arrivals Lounge Canada + International
Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia, Patkau Architects

Air Canada Lounge

Air Canada Lounge

Virgin Atlatantic International Lounge USA + International
New York, SHoP Architects

Virgin Atlantic Lounge

Virgin Atlantic Lounge

Monte Blanc Border Crossing France + Italy
Helbronner Point, Italy

Monte Blanc

Antarctica International Terminal Antarctica + International

Antarctica International Terminal

Oresundsbro bridge Denmark + Sweden

Oresundsbro Bridge

Giriyondo Waypoint 432 South Africa + Mozambique

Giriyondo Waypoint

Col du Grand St Bernard Switzerland + Italy

Col du Grand St Bernard

DC World-managed Customs post at Glafi Djibouti’s + Ethiopia

Glafi Customs Post

Tisis Border Post Austria + Liechtenstein
AIX architects

Tisis Border Post

USA Port of Entry USA + Mexico
Calexico California


North Korea Border Crossing North Korea + South Korea

North Korea

Iraq Border Crossing Iraq + ?

Iraq Border Crossing

The former Checkpoint Charlie East Berlin + West Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie

Sasabe Crossing Mexico + USA
Homeland Security’s latest high-tech border security strategy along a 28-mile stretch of Mexican border near Sasabe, the nation’s busiest crossing for illegal entrant traffic.

Sasabe Crossing


4 Comments so far
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The GSA Design Excellence program has some really nice border patrol projects in the works… though I think the whole Homeland Security fiasco has stalled some of the progress out.

Rand Elliott had one going like 3 years ago though it’s not currently on his site. As did Lake Flato and Charles Rose – also not on thier sites… ( )

Here’s a few(some built and some in the works):

U.S Border Patrol Station,Murietta, California
by Garrison Architects

United States Port of Entry at Pacific Highway in Blaine, Washington
by Thomas Hacker Architects

U.S. Port of Entry, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan
by Ross Barney Architects

US Land Port of Entry at Champlain, NY
Massena Land Port of Entry, Massena, New York
by Smith-Miller & Hawkinson

United States Land Port of Entry, Calais, Maine
by Robert Seigel

You might find this intesting as well:

Comment by eric

Eric – nicely done. We had a tough time searching on this topic – you found a handful of projects that weren’t on our radar – with the architects to boot. Thanks for the links, really like that Smith-Miller & Hawkinson project.

Comment by buildllc

I just found this one…

The Marisa Port of Entry
by Jones Studio

~ and the Smith-Miller & Hawkinson web site now has some completed images posted.

Comment by eric

I just found this one…

The Mariposa Port of Entry
by Jones Studio

~ and the Smith-Miller & Hawkinson web site now has some completed images posted.

Comment by eric

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