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Building Up the City

Tijuana gets Baja's first architecture-only school

By Derrik Chinn

Ever fantasize about Tijuana’s star modern architect Jorge Gracia designing your dream home? Well, that idea now has a rival: Having Gracia—perhaps best known for his mod wooden sleeping pods at Valle de Guadalupe’s Hotel Endemico—teach you how to design it yourself, at his new Escuela Libre de Arquitectura, or the Free School of Architecture.

Located at the tip of the city’s infamous red light district, just a block from Avenida Revolucion’s arch and the border fence, the name comes not as nod to free tuition (oh, how we wish) but rather to the notion of crafting architectural concepts according to students’ own individualistic principles.

Tijuana’s renowned Culinary Art School—a simple yet sleek structure, coincidentally designed by Gracia—has turned what was already a street-eats mecca into a full-blown foodie nirvana, with its graduates serving up fresh spins on classic Mexican urban cuisine all over the city. Expect Gracia to do the same for local architecture by training fresh, forward-thinking talent to break all the rules like a pro.

Building Up the City

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