Resort Playa Onda


This is a type of project that makes me feel really guilty about being an architect. A great architecture firm; Elemental of Chile, who is responsible for some amazing work, has decided to drop a big stinky turd on Panama. Their design for Resort Playa Onda (which I doubt will ever be built) is completely out of place in this environment.

The beauty of the Islas de las Perlas in Panama is completely ignored in this design. I just don’t see why a man made concrete 3-storey waterfall is needed here. Or why one massive bar building must completely block off access to the water for anyone but the residents and visitors to the “uber chic apartments”.

This design out of context would be pretty hot. I love the facade, and I really love the work of Elemental in general, so I trust that this would be architecturally a beautiful building. But when building in Panama, in a location like this, there is so much beauty around that we architects should not need to go through such great efforts to create beauty. We should create buildings which are designed to appreciate the beauty which already exists.

I hope that if this building ever gets built, Elemental will go visit the Pearl Islands first, appreciate the location, and revisit their design.
Here is a great website, documenting my favorite Elemental project,


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