LocationPanama City, Panama
Architect in ChargeGonzalo Casís
Design TeamIván Casis Mitil, Iván Casís Simons, Juan José Casís, Adrian Smith
Development and EngineeringCarlos Deleon, Aurelio Macia, Manuel Padilla
ConstructionInversora Casa (Camilo Saavedra)
From the architect. Program
The project was a major design challenge in a small plot of land, located in one of the most important urban centers of Panama City. It is located on the corner between Israel Avenue & 72th Street, San Francisco. Besides having a minimum commercial space to work with, the field is surrounded by two large walls in the rear boundaries. These walls are the basis of a large building that seems to isolate the ground. To address these conditions, the solution was to Attach The Project to the surrounding walls in order to get the maximum amount of commercial and open space in the front, to achieve a visually cornered structure.
The project is defined as a Box Corner, of 4 commercial spaces (2 floors each). The two rear facades are attached to the existing building, and the front corner consists of two architectural elements: The ground floor gallery and the upper box containing a Triangulated Glass experimental system. The idea is to show that in every project, no matter the difficulties, it’s possible to have an experimental approach: A Project within a Project. In this process we developed a System From a Single Figure, repeated and rotated to create a continuous and organic glass wall.
The petition of a grand luminous sign to counteract the commercial disadvantage of the site towards the nextdoor hotel, served as an opportunity to turn a secondary element into a connection with both history and context. In front of the project are located the don bosco church and the don bosco school, their facades being caracterized by stone covered monoliths that appear to define the volumetric balance of the buildings. Making a reference to this interesting resource, a stone monolith of equal proportions is erected for the commercial signs, following a projection that extends with the same material as the center of the parking lot does.
The prototype is based on two adjacent triangles whose opposite corners are tilted inwards. This geometry ensures that each module can be rotated and linearly attached to each other, forming a continuous and infinite surface. this system, based on a single form can be produced for public spaces, parks and plazas. In low budget projects, molds could be created to generate innovative surfaces in urban works as retaining walls and bridges. Our vision of a new architecture is that each architect develops an experimental design process and research in each of their projects: ideas containing other ideas, to duplicate efforts on creating innovative systems and new technologies.