Almacenes Danté, an upscale, specialty retail department store operating in the Republic of Panama for over a century, is arguably the oldest and most prestigious store still active in the national luxury sphere. Dante's flagship store, an old colonial-type mansion situated on one of the most valuable lots in Panama City, has over the years turned into an urban icon that's paradigmatic of Panamanian colonial architecture of yore.
As a part of it's modernization program, Grupo Danté, S.A. hires a team of companies in 2003 for the restoration, expansion, and refurbishing of its most profitable store. Conceived as a design-build project, Samudio Arquitectos, together with commercial interiors firm RYA Design Consultancy of Dallas, TX, take on the complex architecture and engineering design process required by the construction management company to build in phases and at a very fast pace, while keeping over 60% of the store area open to customers.
Today, the Danté Mansion is both an example of minimalist commercial interiors and an exterior architecture that preserves the splendor of the early days of the republic, humbly paying homage to the long relationship between Almacenes Danté and its exclusive clientele.