top of page

A New Frontier: The Contemporary Border Crossing

Border crossing involves a change of state; the crossing of a barrier between two nations. The nature and meaning of this barrier are very specific to its location and the different characters of the nations involved. Borders can mark dramatic transitions between different cultures, political systems, economies, and levels of freedom. They range from open and undefended to closed and heavily militarized.


In many places around the world, borders are under stress and evolving to respond to war, migration pressures, the ebb and flow of political alliances, the creation and removal of trade barriers, the threat of terrorism, the movement of illegal drugs and weapons, and the spread of disease.

Border crossing architecture is the physical manifestation of the balance between evolving security concerns and the desire to welcome visitors and newcomers while symbolically marking the entry into a new country.

The Canadian Academy of Architecture for Justice (CAAJ) invites architecture students to speculate on these issues in a design competition for a new border crossing. Submissions are welcomed from either studio groups or individuals. The design will be evaluated by a jury of experts, architects and industry professionals. Participants are highly encouraged to explore a wide spectrum of architectural responses from functional and practical at one end to philosophical and social at the other, including ways in which this building or complex could be integrated into the surrounding context and community, act as a catalyst for building a positive relationship between two nations, and address what a border entry means in today’s context.

First prize is $3,000 CAD, second and third prizes are $1,000 CAD each.

Download the information related to this competition here. Source: https://www.caaj.ca/a-new-frontier-2023

bottom of page