Pattern insight + emergence

Delving beneath the surface of life at Patternity Studio



photo © victoria murillo : istmophoto.comFOLDING COVERS Image: Victoria Murillo / Istmophoto

Often astonishing and never less than striking, Frank Gehry’s building designs find beauty in asymmetry and make features of the physically improbable. Inspired by the idea of order nesting within the outwardly chaotic, PATTERNITY looks at his most recent structure: the newly opened Biomuseo on the Amador Causeway at the entrance to the Panama Canal.

the undulating and folded roof panels photo © victoria murillo : istmophoto.comANGULAR FACET Image: Victoria Murillo / Istmophoto

Dedicated to exploring the diverse flora and fauna of the Panamanian isthmus and the impact it has had on the patterns of global biodiversity, the institution is intended to serve as both a centre of culture and learning and an instantly recognisable national icon. Gehry’s design is dominated by an origami-like tumble of brightly coloured roof panels, which (demonstrating synergy of form and function) are positioned to protect the central, open-air atrium from wet-season rains and to offer shelter from the isthmus’ notorious winds. Visually, the angular panels evoke the tin rooftops of the locale and the rainbow hues mimic the tropical-toned facades of Panama’s typical homes, to create a structure that manages to be perfectly in tune with its location while also dramatically standing apart from its surroundings…

Panama’s Biomuseo