The Kalu Yala Blog

Building Momentum

April 7, 2011

by Bradley Wilson
Posted In: Designing the Village, Wandering Thoughts

In the recent weeks there has been a level of energy in the air that is palpable.  My time recently has been occupied by many tasks, large and small, mundane and adventurous, prolonged and draining.

For a while now I have been shopping for a truck so we can get moving on our project in the valley.  Finding a used car worth buying is a stifling task, but in Panama, enslaved to the transportation conveniences that a taxi can provide, with broken English, in a city that is for the most part lacking street signs and names almost entirely, is a endeavor of its own breed.  So the obstacles this task has provided me have kept me on my toes and tested my logistical agility.  I feel comfortable with the results as it looks like we are coming closer to closing on a truck.

There has also been much effort put into organizing the new Design Build Program for this coming summer session.  I have been spreading the word as far as I can to open ears and hope to get a great crew down here soon.  I can only imagine how productive we will be next semester with five new eager interns all focusing on building Base Camp.   Kalu Yala will soon be able to enjoy the valley with a roof over their head and creature comforts made available as luxuriously as Kalu Yala can provide.

As I continue to see more and more of the city I have come more aware of an architectural vernacular of a city that has been influenced by so many so often.  I am hoping to understand the vernacular for what it is and express it with a sincerity that is Kalu Yala.  For each new step, there are new questions asked and new decisions made.  Versatility and steadiness: these will be the keys to our success.

some local vernacular

some local vernacular

at home, at work

at home, at work

drafting possibilities

drafting possibilities


6 Responses to “Building Momentum”

  1. Sandy says:

    You’re headed in the right direction, Bradley! Keep your eye on the goal and don’t let anything stop you!


  2. Kate says:

    Sounds like you are keeping on track as well as an eye out for possibilities! I’m sure the new interns will be equally as enthusiastic and inspired!

  3. Thanks yall!
    I am excited for the building that will come soon, thanks for the kind words.

  4. Henrik says:

    Looks good Bradley! I like how you merge canal zone architecture with local stilt house influence. That should work fine for the base camp. Looking forward to seeing your team busy building up in the Valley. I’ll come up and bring my hammock.

  5. Thanks Henrik! Yes, we would love to have you out with us. You are welcome any time!

  6. Dexter Witt says:

    Bradley, It is refreshing to see a hand drawn (scetch) of your design ideas and also nice that you show a fine example of North American craftsmanship, recognition of the fine work achieved in the Canal zone.