Inscribing a City of Parts
Border Crossing Facilities, Macau
Macau is a city of parts. As a former Portugese colony and a Chinese Special Administrative Zone, the city lies at the intersection of the European City, the Chinese City, and the Developmental City. Since its inception, the city has navigated between these diverse and often opposing factions, crafting for itself an individual identity that is at once independent of and beholden to a set of ideas outside of itself. This legacy of conflicting interests, coupled with a constantly shifting border condition, has resulted in an urban fabric of startling adjacencies. The wall, in its various manifestations, has played a fundamental role in maintaining and defining these adjacencies, allowing Macau to persist as a city of exacerbated difference.
Macau now faces the dissolution of this identity, a flattening of these constituent parts in the face of a changing political and economic landscape. In this context, the project of the New North Border Crossing will play a crucial role in defining Macau’s future. Employing the wall’s specific history in Macau, as well as a deep structure that has the potential to create barriers, gates, and rooms, this proposal seeks to maintain and expand the city of parts. By extending this space of interaction into both Zhuhai and Macau, the wall has the ability to act as a focal point for future development, spurring growth that will eventually surround the wall into the fabric of both cities. As it’s role as a border crossing facility becomes obsolete, the wall will remain as a marker to a Macau’s former identity, another boundary surmounted and absorbed by the city of parts.
Project completed in collaboration with Joshua Schecter, GSD M.Arch I.
Landscape/ Architecture/ Urban Design Option Studio