I recently had the opportunity to travel to Panama for professional and personal fulfillment; it was an unforgettable experience. Everywhere we looked we were surrounded by ocean and lush mountains, although as a designer my eye kept returning to the built environment. In Panama City, the built environment is a mixture of old and new, often right next to each other, often backdropping one another. It was difficult to take a snapshot without the mixture in the viewfinder.
I love the contrast and harmony of the old and the new; the architecture and history from Spanish Colonial and Baroque all the way to modern skyscrapers.
The ruins are interspersed throughout the old city; they are almost outnumbered by the restoration projects of some of those same ruins.
We spent days taking in the paint colors, enjoying the plazas and wandering the narrow streets lined with brick.
All while trying to wrap my head around the construction and operation of the canal that became “The World’s Shortcut” over 105 years ago. Heralded as one of the greatest achievements of the 20th Century, I consider myself lucky to have been able to see it in person.