Uncovering Tijuana's Design Scene

Steve Turner of the Steve Turner Contemporary gallery in Los Angeles visited Tijuana at the recommendation of one of his staff members. He felt so inspired by the changing environment that he decided to coordinate an architectural and culinary tour of Tijuana along with a pop-up art exhibit in partnership with the A+D Museum. The tour even included a local Tijuana guide to give a basic history of the city was on hand to answer any questions.

1. The architectural tour started at the Centro Cultural Tijuana. The cultural center hosts art exhibits and has a large spherical OMNIMAX theatre.

2. Artist Pablo Llana created artwork out of junk food wrappers that were left behind at the Centro Cultural museum.

3. The Culinary Art School is located just outside downtown Tijuana and is designed by Mexican architect Jorge Gracia of Gracia Studio.

4. Architect Jorge Gracia used local natural materials whenever possible when designing the Culinary Art School.

5. The Culinary Art School has a library for its students. A few students from the Culinary Art School made tasters for the Art Baja Tijuana tour. The caramel dessert was delicious!

6. The view of downtown Tijuana from the top of the modern Via Corporativo building. 

7. The Mision 19 restaurant is located in a high rise building in downtown Tijuana. The restaurant has an innovative and sleek design by architect/designer Manuel Martinez and chef Javier Plascencia hopes that the restaurant is an example of what Tijuana could be.  

8. Old railroad wood sleepers are hung from the ceiling at Mision 19.

9. The Modulo Prep Library was built in one of the worst parts of Tijuana. The architects built a beautiful and modern structure to give the residents a sense of community and hope. Soon it will be outfitted with computers and books; kids and parents are already gathering for arts and crafts.

10. The Art Baja Tijuana tour ended with a pop-up contemporary art exhibit at architect Jorge Gracia’s most recent projects.

11. The art in the entryway is by Tijuana Street artist Panca. She also designed custom t-shirts for the event.

12. Steve Turner Contemporary brought a lot of great art from the gallery for their pop-up art exhibit in Tijuana. This piece is by Mexico City artist Fabiola Torres-Alzaga.

13. Jorge Gracia’s modern project overlooks a large field in an upper class residential neighborhood in Tijuana. He designs much of the furniture that is in his projects, including the chimenea featured here.