Meet Panama’s Spiraling Tower: F&F Tower

F&F Tower is a 233 meters tall twisting office building located in Panama City, Panama. The tower dramatically twists about 360 degrees and has become an iconic presence in the Panama City Skyline.

The spiral form of Panama City’s F&F Tower began as a purely theoretical experiment in the offices of Pinzon Lozano & Asociados Arquitectos. Although not originally intended for actual construction, the concept caught the eye of a potential client which subsequently teamed with Pinzon Lozano to develop it into a practical design. The result is 52 floors twisted into a helix around a concrete core, the skewed alignments of which allow for four small office balconies at each level. 39 of the upper floors each rotate at an angle of 9 degrees. The floors at the top of the skyscraper gradually shrink toward the base of the spire that crowns the whole building.

F&F Tower, Panama City

The tower is clad is glass that emits a green-blue hue giving it an almost emerald like quality in the sunlight. This plays beautifully with the coastal nature of the city itself, showcasing a relationship between the build and the unbuilt. The tower has however been the subject of a mixed reception, as many look unfavourably upon its screw like form, something that has earned it the nickname ‘El Tornillo’, and as a significant amount of the office space remains unused.

The official start of the construction began in 2008 and the striking design developed in spite of two major constraints: a relatively small site in the city’s banking district and a strict budget of $50 million USD. A neighboring gas station with underground wells had to be accommodated in the tower’s foundations, while its above-ground bulk was initially hampered by setback requirements. Despite these challenges, the glass-wrapped helix was completed in 2012. The tower is 243 meters tall (797 feet), with total area space of 60,759 square meters (653,939 square foot), allocated on 52 floors (plus 4 floors underground).

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