US Government to launch open call for US-Mexico border wall designs

The Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection has issued a tender for a nine-metre concrete wall structure along the two countries’ border, with the initial proposal deadline set for 20 March.

US President Donald Trump is set to go ahead with one of his key campaign pledges to build a wall along the country’s border with Mexico, issuing an open call for designers and architects to submit initial design proposals for the wall by 20 March.

The US Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a tender on the Federal Business Opportunities site, detailing the “design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico”.

Deadline 20 March

The tender highlights that submitted design proposals are expected to the take the form of nine-metre high concrete wall structures that “meet requirements for aesthetics, anti-climbing, and resistance to tampering or damage”.

The first phase of the application process – launching on 8 March – will require design teams to submit a concept paper of their idea, with a deadline of 20 March.

Phase two will then require shortlisted applicants to submit further proposals based on more detailed requirements including pricing, which will be due by 3 May.

“It’s way, way, way ahead of schedule”

CBP expects to issue multiple award contracts, with the potential for additional construction work on the wall to be included in each contract.

“The intent of this procurement is to acquire and evaluate available wall prototypes and provide some initial construction of some wall segments, but is not intended as the vehicle for the procurement of the total wall solution for the border with Mexico,” says CBP.

The announcement of the tender comes after president Trump’s comments about the border wall at a speech during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland last month, saying: “It’s way, way, way ahead of schedule”, reports the BBC.

Hide Comments (6)Show Comments (6)
  • Dick March 6, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    publishing this article/call for entries is sick

    • Tom Banks March 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks for your comment Dick. Design Week always looks to take a design angle on local and international stories where relevant. Here we feel we’ve reported objectively and responsibly on an international event. It doesn’t mean we condone it.

  • Xoliswa Nxam March 7, 2017 at 8:47 am

    We as SA Fence and Gate would like to bid for this tender, could you please send us the invitation to tender or give us more information on this tender.

    Kind regards,

  • Roger Fuller March 7, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Let’s hope that any designers and architects who have the brass neck to put themselves up for this abomination of a project will be ostracised by their existing clients…

  • R March 7, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    This coverage in Design Week is cause for great concern. Diversity is already an on-going issue within the design industry as historically the majority of people in the business are white.

    Design Week in conjunction with the then Mayor of London Ken Livingstone ran an in-depth research program to look at this particular issue back in 2002, if I recall correctly.

    In light of this and being of Indian origin, I was surprised and dismayed that you ran the story about the tender for the wall that Trump is proposing to build. For me, as for many ethnic minorities, this is a terrifying time as hate crime escalates and there seems to be no resolution in sight.

    The combination of Brexit and Donald Trump as president in the USA has given permission to an increasing number of people to openly manifest the underlying prejudice that previously existed covertly.

    I know you have now said you believe that you ‘reported objectively and responsibly on an international event’, but these points are significant:

    1 this is hardly a subject the design industry should be promoting or celebrating at all
    2 given the divisive and controversial nature of the wall, should Design Week be aligning itself with it as a perfectly healthy and reasonable project?
    3 you actually made the topic the major front page news on your website. Design Week thinks this is an important event?
    4 it’s wholly open to debate whether a responsible medium should objectively promote a prejudiced and discriminatory practice

    Perhaps you could rethink your position and respond accordingly.

    • Tom Banks March 8, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Hi Ruth, Thanks for your note. You make some very valid points. Lack of diversity and representation remain pertinent issues within the design industry. Today more than ever with so many uncertainties around Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. In response to these events in particular we have published dozens of pieces highlighting the concerns of designers, while pointing out how they might be affected. You can find some of these pieces here and here

      We share your concerns and understand that the industry does. You’ll see that in our broader coverage we’ve sought many opinions and where possible have looked to demystify some of the complications around Brexit and the Trump election. We’ve editorialised, written features and looked at both issues in depth.

      I must reiterate though that this story about the wall tender is a news story. We’re neither promoting or celebrating it. But it is happening and we’re holding a mirror up to it. Frankly we don’t think any Design Week readers will apply to the tender, but we do feel they are interested in the fact that it’s happening. We thought long and hard about whether to run something and in the end this is why we did.

      We have simplified the tender document and readers will be able to quickly see it for what it is.

      We will forever champion diversity and representation and I’d be happy to talk to you about how we are doing this elsewhere across Design Week.

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