San Luis I Land Port of Entry North Annex Building
A dignified and secure welcome to the U.S.
As the Colorado River weaves south through Arizona and California, it passes through a verdant valley near Yuma and the smaller San Luis, Arizona. The 1980s-era land port of entry is the passage for thousands of migratory workers seeking work in the agricultural fields in the valley and—as that population grew—became stressed under the volume of visitors passing through.The new North Annex Building at the San Luis I Land Port of Entry was designed to meet this growing need and act as a seed for the future expansion of the busy port, welcoming visitors with respect while maintaining a safe, secure environment.
Inspired by the agricultural fields in the valley laid out in seemingly endless furrows plowed into the land, the design uses this same repetitive, linear structure to form the building and guide visitors through the space. The shape of the sawtooth ceiling and the slot skylights reflect the movement of people from one side of the border to the other while naturally lighting the interior throughout the day. The forms from the interior continue through to the exterior in the form of canopies shading the perimeter glazing and leading pedestrians from the entry through processing and out to the United States.
Durable, low-maintenance materials including glass, aluminum, steel, and corrugated metal clad the exterior and complement the simplicity of the interior materials. The openness of the building, reinforced by clerestory windows and a perimeter of full-height glazing framed with minimal mullions, allows daylight to reach deep into the interior and reduces the need for artificial lighting for the 24/7 operation of the port. The transparent connection from interior to exterior also provides staff an uninterrupted view to survey their surroundings.
To support the larger water needs of the program in the arid desert site, the building harvests both greywater from the interior plumbing fixtures and rainwater from the roof. Greywater is stored, treated, and reused for the building’s water closets, doubling the use of each drop of water and resulting in nearly 45% water use savings. During a rain event, water is celebrated through a waterfall cascading from the roof into the collection basin near the pedestrian exit, where it irrigates the native, drought-tolerant landscaping across the site. A highly energy-efficient envelope and solar panel array infrastructure supplement the water reuse and daylighting strategies to create a comprehensive and performative sustainable design.
“Overall, Jones studio delivers innovative and graceful design, high performance, and good functionality at great value to the taxpayer. They do this quickly and never complain when the government inevitably throws in additional requirements, references obscure contract requirements, or otherwise moves the finish-line farther away. As Jones Studio hones its experience delivering beautiful, resilient and easily maintained designs in remote locations, GSA will find an extremely capable designer for LPOE and other GSA projects.”
Max Edwards, GSA Project Manager
2019 AIA Arizona Distinguished Building Award + SRP Sustainable Award
2019 Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Award
2019 AIA Western Mountain Region Distinguished Architecture Honor Award