A growing city landlocked between the mountains and the coastline, Panama City has little available land to develop. To counter this constraint, Grupo Los Pueblos, the largest residential developer in Panama, expanded into the sea by creating a pair of artificial islands. Ocean Reef Islands were created to be one of Panama City's premier oceanfront residential communities, with high-end amenities including a marina. To complement the excellence of this new development, SmithGroup engineered a world-class marina between the two manmade islands.
Creating a premium marina here was a complex challenge, as the islands are exposed to a unique Pacific Ocean wave climate that starts off the coast of Australia and builds relentlessly until it reaches Panama. The design also had to be highly responsive to requirements for preserving ocean current circulation and the site’s littoral processes affecting sediment transport. Using sophisticated computer modeling and a highly creative and visionary approach, SmithGroup overcame these challenges and designed a protected, tranquil harbor with a 200-slip marina accommodating vessels up to 300 feet (90 meters) in length.
The extensive modeling studies allowed the team to develop a breakwater configuration and marina shape that will promote ambient water quality while providing calm harbor conditions. Floating dock system and access design also account for six meters of tidal fluctuation. A contemporary yacht club facility provides an outstanding amenity for island residents. Once completed, Ocean Reef Island and Marina will provide an unforgettable experience for residents and visitors, with a tranquil harbor providing one of the most unique boating experiences in Panama.