With a flourishing economy and so much opportunity for growth and restructuring, the old city of Panama, Panama was an ideal site to take a studio of 4th Year Urban design students. Building on close to 7 years of design work from large-scale master planning to efficient housing prototypes, Bret and I went do to meet with top officials in the building sector in Panama, meet with newspapers to get our ideas out there, and work with groups dedicated to the preservation and thoughtful enhancement of this UNESCO World Heritage site, which is currently being threatened by plans to build a 6 lane highway out into the water around the 500 year old jewel of antiquity.
Our plan included a means of diverting traffic along the mountainside, which disturbs no sight lines to the vista across the rock reefs and ocean to the distant islands, offers levels of redundancy to accommodate construction and accidents, ends up being a significantly more direct route behind the old city, and commands a fantastic view down the slope of the hill in which it is nestled across the old city to the ocean.
The second major part of our proposal was a site sensitive development plan for the proposed Amador fill. Along with the growing economy comes an influx of office jobs and necessity of housing for these workers of a new middle class. These buildings, however, have been given height restrictions to maintain a proportional scale to the highrise clusters on the opposite side of Casco, and are also based on gradients stepping down towards radiating green parks and recreational fields, which maintain sight lines to important monuments from the most visited and panoramic viewing spot at the point of the old walls of the city, the Obelisk.
Location: Panamá, PA
My Role: Master Planning Design, Diagramming, and Booklet Layout
Additional Credits: A continuation and summation of the Panama studios run by Bret Peters for the Penn State 4th Year Urban Design classes.