August 13, 2018

BT Arquitectos Creates Dynamic Tensions in a Beachfront Panama City Apartment

This property had plenty to offer—a beachfront location in a tony Panamá City residential neighborhood, not to mention more than 5,000 square feet of blank space. Sold as a shell with zero finishes, the apartment was ripe for invention. That was an ideal situation for its new owners, who wanted something different from the norm—a conversation piece where dynamic tension generates the dialogue. “The architecture of the building is neoclassical and our client asked for the opposite for the interiors, which created an interesting contrast,” explains BT Arquitectos principal Teófilo Tarazi, who led the design alongside partner David Bettis.

A quirky faux-marble print upholsters wingback chairs. Photography by Pro Pixel Panamá.

From the moment you step out of the elevator, the polarities begin, starting with the foyer’s floral mosaic floor. The living and dining areas, which segue seamlessly into one another, are mainly white, disrupted by luscious hits of color. Dining chairs upholstered in canary yellow sing out, and wingback armchairs covered in a faux-marble-print fabric make a tongue-in-cheek nod to the stone’s current popularity. The master bedroom’s classical moldings start and finish in apparently random fashion, like a work in progress, which is one of the firm’s hallmark looks. Typically, each project will have custom wall treatments or finishes unique to that client. Above all, quality is the mantra for Tarazi and Bettis, who raided Minotti and Living Divani for furniture, imported handmade cement tiles from Nicaragua (they now grace the quirky curved terrace), and ordered custom woodwork from Colombia. Nothing but the best and the unexpected.

Lines Safari tile from l’Antic Colonial meets a gold feature wall in the master bathroom. Photography by Pro Pixel Panamá.

Design Principals: Teófilo Tarazi, David Bettis; Project Team: Pamela Escobar; General Contractor: RS Contractors; Woodwork: Improdema; Lighting Consultant: Illuminations; Mechanical Engineer: Ingeniera Atlantico

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