100 Years Monument | SPIA
La Cresta, Panama
The Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects [SPIA] celebrates 100 years of Foundation and within the framework of this celebration they organized a a design contest: "Commemorative Monument to the 100 years of Foundation of the SPIA".
The main goal of the contest was to design a monument that represents the trajectory of the SPIA through these 100 years.
The site is where the 75-year-old monument is currently located, at Manuel E. Batista Avenue, in Bella Vista.
After visiting the site we were able to notice the large number of people - mainly students - walk daily in front of the Ateneo. In less than 200 meters away is the Iglesia del Carmen Station Metro Station. Students from the University of Panama and other educational centers walked daily, and many others who go to the Hospital Complex.
The current conditions of the sidewalks are not good, and in front of the SPIA, it is interrupted by a parking space.
The pedestrian crossing is not accessible for people with disabilities and the landscaping in front of the building is in poor condition, giving a somewhat degraded image.
Our proposal raises a question about the objective of the contest: What happens if instead of a vertical monument, we work on a horizontal monument? What happens if the monument ceases to be an object and becomes a meeting point, a space for socialization in the city, a new pocket public plaza?
Turning 100 years, more than a celebration, should lead us to rethink what we should focus our efforts on and how to correct our mistakes.
We do not raise a monument in the middle of the street, away from the people. We propose the creation of a public plaza, which will function as a meeting point for people who travel daily in front of the Ateneo.
The message is clear, get closer to people.