Pretty in Pink: Mexican Design Firm Unveils a Barrágan-Inspired Plan for Trump’s Border Wall

Pat Finn Pat Finn

Love him or hate him, Donald J. Trump is a man with a vision. His presidential campaign, especially in its early months, was embodied in a single, potent idea: a building project of grand scope that evoked the hubristic emperors of old. “We’re going to build a wall,” he’d tell the crowds assembled at his rallies, which often numbered in the thousands. “And Mexico is going to pay for it.”

Trump’s border wall, which would cover the entire 1,954-mile (3,145-kilometer) US-Mexico border, struck many commentators as impractical. This impression was not helped by Trump’s inconsistency in laying out the details of his proposal. “Trump has described his wall as low as 25 feet tall and at other times as high as 55 feet,” wrote John Dean of Newsweek. “Sometimes he has his wall running the entire border, other times only 1,000 miles, plus the 670 miles of high steel fencing Republicans spent $2.4 billion on to keep illegal immigrants out of the US.”

Furthermore, Trump never explained how he would get Mexico to pay for the wall; although to be fair to him, his career as a developer showed him to have a certain talent for pushing costs off on others.

The vagueness of the wall was perhaps the secret of its power. As Trump remained coy about the details, fans and skeptics alike couldn’t help from wondering just what he had in mind. What, for instance, would “the big, beautiful door” look like? To this question and others, the Mexican estudio 3.14 has provided some possible answers. In a series of speculative renderings, the Mexican firm attempts to capture the “gorgeous perversity” of the proposal.

Estudio 3.14’s plans, which were spearheaded by a team of interns, aim to celebrate the design heritage of Mexico, a fact that challenges the xenophobic, anti-Mexican sentiment many have seen in Trump’s proposal. Its plan would have the wall painted bright pink in the spirit of Luis Barragán, one of the most iconic and visionary architects in Mexican history.

“Because the wall has to be beautiful, it has been inspired by Luis Barragán’s pink walls that are emblematic of Mexico,” said the studio. “It also takes advantage of the tradition in architecture of megalomaniac wall building.”

The images estudio 3.14 released show the wall coursing through mountains, deserts and water. The stark, imposing quality of this structure is not at all diminished by its friendly pink hue. Indeed, the contrast seems to heighten this impression, producing an almost sinister effect.

“Moreover, the wall is not only a wall,” explained estudio 3.14 of its version of the project. “It is a prison where 11 million undocumented people will be processed, classified, indoctrinated and/or deported.”

This reporter’s favorite image in the series features a section of the wall with an accessible roof. The illustration shows hundreds of people — tourists? — teeming across the top of the wall like ants, some gazing down at others gathered on the opposite side of the border. One gets a sense that the allure of the view has ironically brought the two nations closer together.

All images via dezeen

Pat Finn Author: Pat Finn
Pat Finn is a high school English teacher and a freelance writer on art, architecture, and film. He believes, with Orwell, that "good prose is like a windowpane," but his study of architecture has shown him that a window is only as good as the landscape it looks out on. Pat is based in the New York metro area.
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