With enhanced levels of pedestrian amenities, a welcoming presence, and dramatically improved patrol stations based on an analysis of ergonomic factors, the Donna Rio-Bravo Port of Entry was designed as a "Port of the Future".
This land port of entry is the centerpiece of a 6000 acre master plan that that anticipates commercial developments on both sides of the new Donna-Rio International Bridge connecting the US and Mexico.
Conceived as an assembly of pre-fabricated, easily transportable modules and translucent fabric tension panels, the 100 foot X 400 foot canopy has been expressly designed to provide the evenly distributed light desirable for surveillance of oncoming traffic. A specially designed, modular booth with surround air distribution reduces exposure to fumes, while a system of catwalks reduces down time and the resulting traffic congestion during routine maintenance.
The project is part of the GSA/Customs and Border Patrol “Port of the future” program, which is striving to develop design guidelines and delivery processes that address changing technology, expedite projects, provide consistent solutions to common problems, and maintain the high level of design promoted by the GSA Design Excellence Program.
“The land port of entry in Donna, Texas, has been called the “Port of the Future” because of its unique design features, including canopies, inspection booths and the command center room. These features could be implemented on future border stations across the country to increase function and efficiency.” - Trey Clegg
Hodgetts + Fung worked with regional and national GSA staff, as well as the local customs and border patrol office under the auspices of the GSA Design Excellence Program. In addition to typical consultants, the project demanded expertise in traffic, advanced technologies, enforcement security, and programming.
“A clear demonstration of the inclusion of tectonics, industrial design, structure, and architecture as a signature of welcoming. The canopy texture and materiality serves as a rich ceiling tapestry for visitors.” - Jury, GSA Design Excellence Award 2008