Location: El Paso, Texas

Owner: U.S. General Services Administration

A new LEED Gold Port of Entry on 117 acres of irrigated farmland returned to its desert origins. The water-conscious design creates a vest-pocket desert micro-ecology within the immediate region’s green agricultural context, which in turn resides within a vast desert that reaches for hundreds of miles into both Mexico and the US.  Dominant materials are native stone quarried a few miles from the site, corrugated steel panels and precast concrete.  The stone conveys the literal color and character of the native desert.  The steel is expressive of the agricultural structures that reflect both economy and culture on both sides of the river along this irrigated valley; and appropriate to the industrial nature of commercial vehicle inspection and processing.  The performance-inspired precast roof canopy panels are the color of the dusty desert soil and are designed to incorporate inspection technology, convective ventilation, daylighting and non-disruptive expansion potential via modularity.