Public sqaure in Tijuana brings people together with external exhibitions, botanical garden and concert facilities
This project extended the scope of the brief for designing the main square of the border city of Tijuana, in a 400 x 200 m urban block where the City Hall and the State Government Building are located. By clearing and taking below square level various complementary uses and parking areas, scattered between the two government buildings, the proposal aims at creating an intense, pedestrian and transport orientated public space for one of the most populated cities in Mexico.
On its northern end, the design puts forward the integration with the neighbouring site for the new Metropolitan Cathedral while proposing a seamless connection to the south, across the Tijuana River, reaching the city’s main cultural and commercial areas.
From north to south, the main components of the square include a green façade and a new cultural centre featuring an elongated courtyard below ground for exterior exhibitions. In the central space, a giant screen and grandstand serve as complements for concerts or national holiday celebrations. On the southern end, a botanical garden and green façade act as soft boundaries and noise barrier along an adjacent road.
Contrary to the use of pedestrian bridges favoring vehicles, a proposed ‘connector’ integrates promenades and bike lanes with low-emission public transport stops along the river. This large and accessible platform at street level slopes gently to reach the pedestrian crossings at the height of the river margins while car flow is channeled through underpasses. Finally, as a key component of the intervention on a larger scale, the concrete lined channel (a city wide flood control infrastructure built in the 1970’s) is turned into a Fluvial Park, implementing wastewater treatment, wetlands and ultimately, offering an opportunity to rethink the urban landscape of the city as a whole.