While Congress and the Trump administration wrangle over the funding for President Trump’s promised wall along the US-Mexico border, a firm that is based in Fort Worth TX is offering a unique take on the security feature. PennaGroup is proposing a wall, but not a standard concrete and metal barrier. The firm is proposing its "Other Wall" design concept.
PennaGroup has submitted to the Department of Homeland Security a design for a wall that would be made of wire and plexiglass. In addition, it would allow U.S. immigration and security look through it and into Mexico, but observers on the Mexican side would not have that capability. The design, according to the PennaGroup’s project summary, was reached after interviewing dozens of border patrol agents in an effort to understand their challenges and requirements. Border patrol agents asked for a barrier that is tall, able to drain rainwater, feature mechanized doors for vehicles, and difficult for those seeking to climb over, tunnel under, or tamper with it.
As futuristic as that design may be, some designs appear to mock the premise of the wall entirely. For example, the Pittsburgh-based JM Design Studio, an artist collective, submitted six border wall designs. One of these calls for hammocks strung from trees, while another would feature 10 million pipe organs. Also, the MADE Collective -- a group of American and Mexican engineers -- has proposed a $15 billion hyperloop instead of an actual wall.
According to the PennaGroup, unique features of the proposed barrier include:
"The interior vertical rebar (as the panel stands) adds to the strength of the wall while the fluted wall feature increases the surface area of the panel, thereby diffusing any impact from attack, including a sustained attack for greater than an hour and a half with a pickax, torch, battery operated cutting tools, or similar hand-held tools."
"The 'Other Wall' consists of a combination of double wire mesh and high-polished, rounded, American steel beams that allow U.S. Border Patrol Agents high visibility in vulnerable areas, with an "anti-climb cap" option. The U.S. side of the wall will be emblazoned with the Seal of the United States, and leafy borders in the case of the cap option. The wall was designed with Neoclassical architecture influences encompassing the styles of Federal and Greek Revival architecture that were a major influence during the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Washington, D.C."