Coiba national park conceptual Design


The Ministry of Environment of Panama (MiAmbiente) enlisted the help of DIAZ DIAZ to create site plans, architectural concepts, and design guidelines for three locations on Coiba Island. A national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Coiba is one of the most exotic destinations in the Pacific realm of the Americas. Home to a penal colony for much of the past century, Coiba was spared from any development and now offers visitors a pristine ecosystem of primary rainforests and rare land and marine wildlife.

The site plans and design guidelines set a roadmap for future development. The intent is to create an architectural strategy that enhances rather than detracts from the unspoiled beauty of Coiba. In search of this symbiotic relationship, the site plans and design guidelines require low-impact development, native interventions, and passive technologies in order to cultivate a built-environment that is honest, resilient, and low-maintenance.

The site plans and architectural concepts include new visitor facilities for the existing station at Gambute, historic preservation guidelines for the ruins of the penal colony, and park ranger dormitories at Machete Beach. Where possible, the site plans make use of previously developed zones in order to preserve the existing hydrological and geological conditions and minimize the impact of new construction.


san lorenzo

national park facilities


San Lorenzo National Park is a protected forest and historic site in Colon, Panama. Located along the Chagres River, San Lorenzo was once Panama’s main Atlantic port. Fort San Lorenzo, built in 1587 by the Spanish to protect the port from pirates, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Ministry of Environment of Panama (MiAmbiente) chose DIAZ DIAZ to help in the design process and technical specifications of new park facilities in three sites within San Lorenzo. The new facilities include a visitor center, park ranger dwellings and offices, as well as a beach campsite with bathrooms.

After conducting an analysis of the three sites, DIAZ DIAZ provided design feedback as well as a full set of architecture, interiors, and furniture specifications. The technical specifications were developed using MasterSpec, a specification system developed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The specifications took careful consideration of the historical and environmental significance of the national park, and included strict sustainable energy, wastewater, and solid waste management requirements.


La yeguada Forest reserve 

public use Plan


La Yeguada Forest Reserve, located in Veraguas Province, Panama, is an extensive wooded area that is home to various tree species including cedar and guayacanes. The reserve is situated on a massive, active volcano that last erupted in the Ice Age. At the base of the volcano, streams and waterfalls feed into Laguna La Yeguada, which provides a natural water source for the valley’s diverse flora and fauna species. In recent years, this lush habitat has become a local favorite for hiking and camping.

DIAZ DIAZ was selected by the Fundación NATURA and the Ministry of Environment of Panama (MiAmbiente) to develop the Public Use Plan for La Yeguada Forest Reserve. As the guiding principle, the Public Use Plan views tourism as a crucial component of conservationism. When properly planned and managed, tourism to protected areas provides both public awareness and income for conservation efforts. With this in mind, the Public Use Plan sets use and capacity restrictions, site planning, and guidelines so that tourists can responsibly visit the reserve while preserving the health the ecosystem.



Metropolitan Natural Park Butterfly Sanctuary 


DIAZ DIAZ was contacted to design an addition to the Metropolitan Butterfly Sanctuary, located in Panama City’s Metropolitan Natural Park. The existing facility, adapted from a used shipping container, had outgrown its current space and faced accessibility and circulation problems due to its increased popularity. 

The addition designed by DIAZ DIAZ provides a new main entrance and circulation path that streamlines visitor flow. New indoor exhibits, classrooms, and research labs were also added to improve the visitor experience and make the attraction more viable.

The design makes use of the very narrow footprint by combining the circulation path with the exhibit space. The front facade incorporates operable panels made with wood frames and colored string that replicate the patterns found on butterfly wings. The operable panels also allow for natural ventilation and sun shading for improved indoor thermal comfort. 

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Costa del Este, Panamá.

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