Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’

reTHINK Bay Bridge: Rethinking The Bay Line


  On Monday, September 2, 2013 the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge opened to vehicular traffic, thus ending the 240,000 cars per day load to the historic, James “Sunny Jim” Rolph Bridge, east of Yerba Buena Island. In 2009, in anticipation of the new bridge, we proposed to repurpose, rather than destroy, the then […]


moleskin13 FINAL6

Recuerdos (Souvenirs) is a journey documenting a series of scenarios, real and imagined, along the U.S.-Mexico Border Wall. It is a story that must be told, for it is an account of the largest construction project in 21st century Usonia. Almost exactly the distance of the Grand Tour, the migratory route for upper-class European men […]


Recuerdos: key chains, snow globes and post cards

Trazando la Linea is an exhibition (open from May 4 until July 8, 2012) that tells the story of the Mexico-U.S. border In Baja California from 1848 to the present day. Although the line commemorated the divide between two nation-states, borderland peoples continued their centuries-old practices of cross-border commerce and society. Twin towns flourished on […]

Life at the Speed of Rail: What will you do?

What will you do?

Last March, the Van Alen Institute issued a call for design ideas to envision the cultural, environmental, and economic impact of a new rail network on communities across the country. On June 24, the Van Alen Institute announced Rael San Fratello as one of ten winners in this prestigious competition advised by Thom Mayne, Keller […]

Teeter Totter Wall

Teeter Totter Wall

The trade and labor relationships between the U.S. and Mexico are in delicate balance. Mexicans throng to the U.S. to find work, but often long to live comfortably in their own country. U.S. industry and agriculture is dependant upon immigrant labor pools, yet the Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and Immigration and Naturalization Services have […]

Life Safety Border Beacon


When solar energy is coupled with water collection, it also offers a key component for the establishment of life safety beacons along the border. The principal cause of death among migrants attempting to cross the border illegally is dehydration. Solar generated electricity could power beacons that inform border patrol of both immigrants or American citizens […]

Wildlife Wall

Aerial view of wildlife observation walkways fused with the borderwall

The Border Wall, existing and proposed, cuts through countless wildlife and nature reserves. The borderland between the U.S. and Mexico includes grasslands, mountains and desert habitats that support a diverse range of wildlife. The Lower Rio Grande Valley alone hosts 17 endangered or threatened species. Ensuring the free movement of critically endangered species between Mexico […]

Burrito Wall


Casual exchange is common across the border wall ranging fro small talk, long visits with friends and family, and commercial exchanges of items ranging from food and bracelets to illegal merchandise. The Burrito Wall accommodates for a food cart to be inserted into the wall. The proximity to the wall and the security overhang create […]


The dredged material continuously defines and redefines the temporary surface programs

Dredged material taken from the bottom of our rivers and harbors is not hazardous material like sewage sludge and industrial waste. While some of it contains minute amounts of chemicals and heavy metals, the contamination levels are significantly below those classified as hazardous or toxic under state or federal laws. Dredged mud can be processed […]

Border Wall on Design Observer

Linda Samuels discusses Working Public Architecture 2.0 and the Border Wall as Infrastructure at Design Observer. “Border Wall as Infrastructure (from the Bay Area team of Rael San Fratello Architects) tackled one of our greatest infrastructural challenges…” Read more at Design Observer


Monoculture, Polyculture, Permaculture, Hyperculture A first step away from monoculture is the move to polyculture; and then onwards to the broader permaculture (a contraction of both “permanent agriculture” and “permanent culture”). Hyperculture goes further, as it captures the unity of agriculture and the information interface. Satellite information networks today drive the creation of landscape. But […]

The Bay Line Video

Project Date: 2009 Project Team: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Emily Licht, Duncan Young Additional Project Information can be found here.

WPA 2.0 Presentation Videos

Presentation delivered by Ronald Rael at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. at the WPA 2.0 Symposium. “There exists far more potential in a construction project that is estimated to cost up to $1,325.75 per linear foot.” Recognizing the high cost, limited effectiveness and unintended natural consequences of the new, multi-layered US/Mexico border wall […]

Food Archipelagos of the Sacramento River Delta (SRD)

By 2110, changing agricultural practices forced by rising tides will reshape the SRD landscape.

In the next 100 years, the ocean will rise approximately 1 meter, completely inundating the nation’s most fertile region with sea water. Dredging and the management of dredged material are an important function in the United States and the Bay area. In order to maintain channels and harbors at safe depths, periodic dredging is required. […]

Border Wall as Infrastructure


By some measures, the U.S. Secure Fence Act of 2006 funded the single largest and most expensive building project in the United States of the 21st Century.  It finances 700 miles of fortification dividing the U.S. from Mexico at the average cost of $4 million dollars per mile.  In many locations it is fabricated of […]

The Bay Line


This projects seeks to demonstrate the potential for re-purposing the historic American bridge infrastructure as possible sites for sustainable urban housing and linear parks. The eastern section of the historic James “Sunny Jim” Rolph Bridge, commonly known as the Bay Bridge, in San Francisco/Oakland, which is currently being replaced by a new concrete bridge structure, serves as a […]