Near the city, the Panama coast still has landscapes full of lush vegetation, where dense tropical jungle borders beaches facing the vast expanse of the Pacific.
In a natural context that in spite of the proximity of the capital seems like a ‘world apart,’ this two-story house projected by Mallol Arquitectos towards the sea combines a contemporary language and logic of assembly with the will to blend into the surrounding context and landscape.
The modes of approach and the search for ties between the indoor and outdoor architectural spaces and the natural setting (the jungle behind, the beach and a small island in front) do not involve architectural-botanical camouflage, disguises or pseudo-ecological solutions.
Instead, the focus is on the definition of a geometric path to group rooms and spaces, porticoes and pools of water. A perspective capable of constructing, from the entrance, a harmonious succession of spaces deployed to accompany the times of life, the hours of the day, the trajectory from the forest to the sea. In a successful attempt to send the gaze, after crossing the marble threshold, towards the horizon.
Three materials have been used to generate this design projection between land and sea: mustard-color marble, pools of water and wood, organized horizontally to create a sort of foundation platform on which to arrange regular white volumes in a composition, paced by large continuous windows.
The entrance from the back lawn is the center of gravity of the construction, emerging from the full volumes of the fronts towards the inland with a protruding canopy sustained by slender slanting pillars, with three marble steps to form an access platform.
When the full-height solid wood door is open, the scene is a sort of ‘corridor of water’ that starts at the swimming pool that incorporates an infinity hydromassage, and then extends to the horizon of the sea.
To the left, a large multifunctional space (home theater, music and recreation), almost a pavilion in its own right, is topped by the first floor entirely set aside for the nighttime zone and the guestrooms. To the right, beyond the staircase conceived as an essential double ramp of steps with wooden treads, the axis of reference of the whole project forms a long straight wooden walkway inserted in the marble floors, inserting the material used for the outdoor spaces and the deck of the swimming pool.
Inside, to the right of the long wooden ‘carpet,’ the two-story dining room and the kitchen form a sequence of spaces, extending to the large portico conceived as a complementary and closely connected space, featuring an outdoor dining area, a bar, a barbecue zone and a shady lounge in which to enjoy the sea breeze, which also invades the interiors thanks to full-height sliding glass doors offering views of the sea.
On the upper level the landing of the staircase in the two-story space overlooks the dining room, and leads to a studio with a terrace to the right. Moving towards the sea along the glazing open to the pool at the entrance, one reaches the master bedroom zone at the end, preceded by a guestroom with its own bath.
The main bedroom is a unified space, suspended over the sea, a large room that incorporates its own bathroom and is separated from it by the block of the washstands with mirrors reaching the ceiling, and a glass volume that functions as a transparent divider between the bed and the tub-shower.
The theatrical character of the fixed stage of the ocean with the small island, faced by the whole project, is underlined by two large white masks placed to conclude the wooden path of reference, which beyond the edge of the swimming pool continues to the sea; two mute faces designed by Fabio Novembre for Driade, in the form of symbolic seats.
Photos by Fernando Alda – Text by Matteo Vercelloni