LocationSan Francisco, Panama
Architect in ChargeRamón Zafrani, Gilberto Guardia
Text description provided by the architects. PH Midtown is an office building located in San Francisco, a former low density residential neighborhood in the heart of Panama City that is recently thriving as a low, medium, and high density mixed-use area.
The design process begins by analyzing the needs required for the optimal contemporary workplace and the way the working environment is evolving in Panama City. The main objective is to produce flexible office floor plans and spaces that promote efficient energy consumption.
Each level of the building is configured to allow post-construction subdivisions to offer a wide range of office sizes.
A study of the climatic conditions affecting the site became one of the most important factors in determining the building’s form and materiality. Different systems were incorporated into the project to bring in, filter or block the elements as required by the interior space. The façade with the highest solar exposure is a solid volume with controlled openings. Walls are multilayered to repel heat while windows are recessed from the exterior skin for weather protection, to frame views and to strategically allow natural light inside. The opposite volume has less solar exposure but receives heat from a more horizontal angle. On this side the floor slabs are projected outside the façade line for better protection. The glazing incorporates wide vertical elements into the frame. These serve as sun-breakers as well.
At the ground level, most of the concrete structure is left exposed with the exception of the lobby, an inserted box of guayacán wood and glass. On that level there is also a front open lounge lobby that is separated from a retail area on the back by an atrium that overlooks a garden within the underground parking level.
On the ground level the interior garden serves as a welcoming area for the visitors accessing the building by car. A raw steel staircase and guayacán clad bridge connect this space with the building’s entrance and the retail area behind.
The tower is composed of 10 parking levels including the basement and 10 office levels of 1,600m2 each.