Panama Center for Events & Arts
The genesis of the design is the national symbol of Panama, the Harpy Eagle, which signifies strength, intellectualism, and power. The iconic architectural forms create a sense of movement, inspired by the flight of the eagle. The interiors blend contemporary aesthetics with cultural patterns inspired by the Mola artwork of Panama. The spirit of the eagle influences the monumental interior spaces, evoking the environment of the middle canopy, the Harpy Eagles natural habitat.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Panama Center for Events and Performing Arts fuses technology and design at the convergence of North and South America. This complex will be the crossroads between the history and future of Panama. Located on the Amador Causeway, at the mouth of the Panama Canal, the site offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the city of Panama skyline. The campus style layout includes a Banquet Hall and Restaurant, Performing Arts Theater, Exhibition Hall, and outdoor amphitheater.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
At the Banquet Hall, guests are transported into the middle and upper canopies of the rainforest, where the harpy eagle lives. The restaurant looks over the Great Hall, like the eagle perched high in the kapok tree. The Theater is the physical and cultural heart of the project. The glass facade and open lobby space blur the line between exterior and interior. The Exhibition Hall exemplifies the importance of technology and innovation through the types of spaces offered and sleek, modern materials.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Design work on this project began in early 2013 and proceeded for approximately 1 year. Construction began in summer 2013 on early foundations, and is currently proceeding.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Architecture, Building and Structure Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
We developed the complex forms of the design using 3-D software. We used Sketch Up to create initial design models. As the project progressed, our team, working in a joint office space, leveraged the powerful capabilities of Revit to understand the complexities of the architectural forms and spatial relationships. We utilized Navisworks to resolve design conflicts and advance the documentation quickly and efficiently.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The Banquet Hall is 22,000 SM, with 2,800 SM of banquet hall space and 1,300 SM of pre-function space. The Restaurant and bar can seat 300 guests. 350 parking spaces are located on the lower levels of the building. The Performing Arts Theater is 12,000 SM with 2,000 seats for a variety of live performances, from concerts to Broadway productions. The Exhibition Hall is a 19,500 SM facility, which has 8,000 SM of open exhibition space. 1,500 SM of meeting rooms are also available for conference events.
Convention Center, Panama, Central America, Banquet Hall, Theater, Exhibition Hall, Amphitheater
This project was inspired by the cultural history of the country of Panama. We researched the history of the Panama Canal, the indigenous cultures to that area of the world, and the geological history of this important land. Visiting the country gave us many insights to the importance of the identity of the country. This greatly inspired our design decisions in the form and materials of the design.
Our challenge on this project was to take traditional elements of Panamas history and culture, and re-interpret them in a contemporary way. The design needed to reflect the history of the country and the people of Panama, and express the future. Developing this building to represent a new identity for Panama was our goal for this project.
TEAM MEMBERS (5) :
RM Plus, LLC Planning & Design, TLC Engineering for Architecture, Canin Associates, Robert Lorelli Associates, Inc and Siebein Associates, Inc
all credits to RM Plus, LLC Planning & Design