Archinect - News 2015-08-02T22:52:46-04:00 http://archinect.com/news/article/126711733/take-a-virtual-tour-of-havana-s-modern-architecture Take a virtual tour of Havana's modern architecture Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-05-04T13:12:00-04:00 >2015-05-12T22:42:22-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/gi/gic268c3igyncbo3.jpg" width="514" height="345" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>With the historic lifting of the Cuban embargo creating an instant rush to visit the long-cloistered island nation, a rush for rediscovery will bring all manner of Cuban art, culture and design to the fore. While it's not always acknowledged as such, Cuban architecture, especially modernist buildings, showcase an eclectic and exciting blend of styles, from the Spanish and Art Deco buildings that preceded them to the modern and Brutalist influences that came during the postwar period.</p></em><br /><br /><p>For more on Cuban architecture:</p><ul><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/124359173/airbnb-now-open-for-business-in-cuba-despite-anemic-internet-access" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Airbnb now open for business in Cuba, despite anemic internet access</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/123298247/a-glimpse-at-havana-s-rooftop-dwellers-as-urban-landscape-transforms" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A glimpse at Havana's rooftop dwellers as urban landscape transforms</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/106016921/cuba-in-talks-for-cultural-exchange-with-us-museum" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Cuba in talks for cultural exchange with US museum</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/70047584/havana-s-overlooked-art-deco-architecture" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Havana's overlooked Art Deco architecture</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/124840314/american-disruption-at-home-and-abroad-gehry-s-facebook-hq-opens-and-airbnb-comes-to-cuba-on-archinect-sessions-episode-24 "American Disruption, at Home and Abroad": Gehry's Facebook HQ opens and Airbnb comes to Cuba on Archinect Sessions Episode #24 Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-04-09T17:39:00-04:00 >2015-04-14T13:44:20-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/09/09dvz3pyhfvqzr0a.jpg" width="514" height="333" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Whatever becomes of Facebook&rsquo;s corporate future &ndash; and therefore the consequential Internet &ndash; will play out in the world of Frank Gehry. The architect&rsquo;s new HQ for Facebook in Menlo Park, <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/124198433/gehry-s-new-facebook-campus-opens-for-business" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MPK20, opened earlier this week</a> with plentiful Instagrammed fanfare, and <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/124762362/facebook-hires-gehry-again-for-next-two-buildings-in-menlo-park" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Facebook recently submitted plans to build two more Gehry buildings</a> in the area. As we discuss on this week&rsquo;s podcast, MPK20 is refreshingly old-school FOG, designed to embrace Facebook's &ldquo;work in progress&rdquo; feel that Gehry&rsquo;s rougher materiality embraces. It&rsquo;s Facebook&rsquo;s and FOG&rsquo;s world; we&rsquo;re just living in it.</p><p>This episode, we also discuss <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/124359173/airbnb-now-open-for-business-in-cuba-despite-anemic-internet-access" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">the arrival of Airbnb in Cuba</a> &ndash; whether this style of tourism could encourage architectural preservation, and what the company&rsquo;s disruptive cachet means when there&rsquo;s no status quo to disrupt. We&rsquo;re also featuring part 1 of an interview I did with Kevin Roche, the Pritzker Prize winning architect who got his start over sixty years ago, working with Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen. The 92-y...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/124359173/airbnb-now-open-for-business-in-cuba-despite-anemic-internet-access Airbnb now open for business in Cuba, despite anemic internet access Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-04-02T15:23:00-04:00 >2015-04-06T07:59:03-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/1e/1e264890181d0f61809073cb1fb97b79.jpg" width="514" height="771" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[Airbnb] says its model&mdash;stay in somebody&rsquo;s home, pay less than a hotel would charge&mdash;will help it facilitate travel that won&rsquo;t pave over Cuba&rsquo;s unique character, forged by decades of isolation from its northern neighbor. &ldquo;Think about the big hotel chains coming in, with mass development,&rdquo; says Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb co-founder ... &ldquo;The idea here is to support growth in travel that isn&rsquo;t disruptive, that actually celebrates and preserves Cuba as a distinct destination.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to bloomberg.com, Airbnb is one of the first U.S. companies to extend operations into Cuba since diplomatic ties between the two countries were re-opened last December. The article refers to "a broad range of colonial architecture ... at extremely low rates". Apparently Airbnb was quick to jump on the market, heading to Cuba in January to meet with locals operating in the preexisting network of&nbsp;<em>casas particulares</em>&nbsp;(home-based vacation rentals for tourists).</p><p>But managing a listing when only 4% of Cuban homes have any internet access is no easy feat. Along with continued restrictions of which countries can see Cuban listings, Airbnb's presence in Cuba lands quietly, but nonetheless dramatically &ndash; before anyone else's.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/123298247/a-glimpse-at-havana-s-rooftop-dwellers-as-urban-landscape-transforms A glimpse at Havana's rooftop dwellers as urban landscape transforms Justine Testado 2015-03-19T20:19:00-04:00 >2015-03-20T01:28:34-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/dn/dnhy7y6nfg651zma.jpg" width="514" height="344" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In overcrowded Central Havana and in the historic quarter, the shortage of places to live and play and find much-needed privacy pushed the city upward, spilling onto the rooftops.The technical term for it is 'parasitic architecture.' The Cuban government doesn&rsquo;t encourage the practice, but in the city&rsquo;s oldest and most dilapidated neighborhoods, longtime roof-dwelling families...were usually allowed to stay. The parasites became permanent.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Havana's rooftop-dwelling communities brace for more change -- at least in tourism -- in the bustling city below, as Cuba and the U.S. re-establish relations.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/117191853/ricardo-porro-cuban-national-art-school-architect-dies-at-89 Ricardo Porro, Cuban National Art School Architect, Dies at 89 Alexander Walter 2014-12-30T13:19:00-05:00 >2015-01-05T21:58:17-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/66/660c4371df38c7f927d64ce7067e236f.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Ricardo Porro, an architect who gave lyrical expression to a hopeful young Cuban revolution in the early 1960s before he himself fell victim to its ideological hardening, died on Thursday in Paris, where he had spent nearly half a century in exile. He was 89. His death was confirmed by friends and associates, including John Loomis, the author of &ldquo;Revolution of Forms: Cuba&rsquo;s Forgotten Art Schools.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/cq/cqygjqf62thlfu08.jpg"></p><p><em>School of Modern Dance, by Ricardo Porro</em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/09/09usm36fo4fp86h1.jpg"></p><p><em>School of Plastic Arts, by&nbsp;Ricardo Porro</em></p><p>To learn more about the&nbsp;Cuban National Art School project and the related documentary<em>&nbsp;<a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/59098906/unfinished-spaces-premieres-tomorrow-night-on-pbs-archinect-talks-to-the-filmmaker" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Unfinished Spaces</a></em>, click <a href="http://archinect.com/news/tag/179037/cuban-national-art-schools" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/106016921/cuba-in-talks-for-cultural-exchange-with-us-museum Cuba in talks for cultural exchange with US museum Alexander Walter 2014-08-07T13:34:00-04:00 >2014-08-07T13:38:31-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/f8/f8b49c73c84da999ee712947c21359e3.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Cuba is in talks with the Bronx Museum to organise the first major exhibition by a US museum in the country, according to local reports. The show would be part of the 12th edition of the Havana Biennial next year, and could be followed by an exhibition in New York in 2016 that would feature work by Cuban artists. [...] During her opening remarks, Perera emphasised the role of culture in &ldquo;breaking barriers imposed by governments that have nothing to do with the will of the artists&rdquo; [...].</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/98266550/unfinished-spaces-documentary-receives-2014-sah-award-for-film-and-video “Unfinished Spaces” documentary receives 2014 SAH Award for Film and Video Justine Testado 2014-04-18T15:10:00-04:00 >2014-04-21T14:42:07-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/9l/9li4bkscb2c4yrlp.jpg" width="514" height="535" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Unfinished Spaces by Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray continues to gain recognition since its initial release in 2011. In addition to previous grants and awards, the documentary film recently won the 2014 Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) Award for Film and Video at the 2014 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. Established in 2013, the annual award is given to the most distinguished international work of film or video on the history of the built environment.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Reflective of its Cuban Revolution setting in 1961, Unfinished Spaces tells the complex tale of Cuba's historic National Art Schools project commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to visionary architects Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti, and Roberto Gottardi. Construction of the school complex immediately began and artists from all over the country attended the school. But the project was abruptly halted as soon as the Revolution came to fruition.</p><p>Forty years later, the schools continue to operate but have remained unfinished. Castro has invited the exiled architects back to finally complete their unrealized dream.</p><p><strong>See the official trailer below.</strong></p><p>Also check out Archinect's previous coverage of <em>Unfinished Spaces</em> <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/59098906/unfinished-spaces-premieres-tomorrow-night-on-pbs-archinect-talks-to-the-filmmaker" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/81702680/restoring-el-capitolio Restoring El Capitolio Nam Henderson 2013-09-13T11:42:00-04:00 >2013-09-13T11:43:13-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ao/ao6knisvi857iuz0.jpg" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>the Communist deputies will convene beneath weighty chandeliers and a newly gold-coated dome. They will step through marble-floored halls, lined with giant shining bronze candelabras from Tiffany's..."I believe it will be a jewel of Havana," argues Mr Leal, unfazed by the oddity.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Sarah Rainsford reports in from Cuba where Raul Castro wants the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Capitolio" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Capitolio Nacional</a>&nbsp;(designed by Ra&uacute;l Otero and Eugenio Rayneri Piedra) to become the new home of the National Assembly.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/60706929/plan-for-cuban-landmark-s-rebirth-sparks-debate Plan For Cuban Landmark's Rebirth Sparks Debate Archinect 2012-11-04T13:03:00-05:00 >2012-11-12T09:22:56-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/6y/6yn1xmtm8b2cgmge.jpg" width="514" height="269" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Carlos Acosta's plan to inject life into the island's hidebound ballet scene by refurbishing Havana's crumbling dance school and turning it into an international center for culture and dance has ignited controversy for daring to reimagine the original architect's vision. Acosta was visibly frustrated by the flap over what he views as a way to give something back as he prepares to retire from London's Royal Ballet after a celebrated career.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Previously on Archinect:&nbsp;<a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/59098906/unfinished-spaces-premieres-tomorrow-night-on-pbs-archinect-talks-to-the-filmmaker" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Unfinished Spaces premieres tomorrow night on PBS; Archinect talks to the filmmaker</a></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/59098906/unfinished-spaces-premieres-tomorrow-night-on-pbs-archinect-talks-to-the-filmmaker Unfinished Spaces premieres tomorrow night on PBS; Archinect talks to the filmmaker Paul Petrunia 2012-10-11T17:54:00-04:00 >2012-10-14T15:54:00-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/0l/0l9uuwek6m26tuyu.jpg" width="514" height="535" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p> Unfinished Spaces, a film that we've previously&nbsp;<a href="http://archinect.com/news/tag/13882/unfinished-spaces" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">covered here on Archinect</a>, is a documentary about the ambitious Cuban National Art School project, conceived, and ultimately killed, by the revolutionary communist Cuban regime.&nbsp;</p> <p> In addition to an <a href="http://www.unfinishedspaces.com/screenings.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">exhaustive schedule of screenings</a>, it will be televised, for the first time,&nbsp;<a href="http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/VOCES/Unfinished-Spaces.aspx" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tomorrow night on PBS (10pm)</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> <em>In 1961, three young, visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create Cuba's National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school's first classes soon followed. Dancers, musicians and artists from all over the country reveled in the beauty of the schools, but as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate. Forty years later the schools are in use, but remain unfinished...</em></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/39624670/what-is-it-about-cuba-s-national-art-schools What Is It About Cuba's National Art Schools? Places Journal 2012-02-28T04:28:00-05:00 >2012-02-28T11:01:07-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/pf/pfyvgnfof2pmak5e.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>After I mentioned attending a screening of the new documentary film, Unfinished Spaces, about the National Art Schools in Havana, [my dinner companion] burst out: &ldquo;What is it about the Art Schools? Why do foreigners love them so much? There&rsquo;s nothing Cuban about those buildings. They&rsquo;re ridiculous architecture for Havana and I always hated them.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p> On Places, architect Belmont Freeman reconsiders the National Art Schools in Havana&nbsp;&mdash; the subject of John Loomis's groundbreaking book <em>Revolution of Forms</em>, as well as a new documentary film and an opera, and a cult favorite among architecture buffs. Does the North American obsession with the art schools carry a whiff of latent colonialism, or even racism? Freeman argues that the dramatic saga of the art schools has obscured the larger narrative of post-revolutionary Cuban architecture.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/10759582/unfinished-spaces-film-review Unfinished Spaces: Film Review Paul Petrunia 2011-06-22T00:53:50-04:00 >2011-06-22T00:55:59-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/v7/v7d9meqcmwgmsg5g.jpg" width="350" height="453" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>An excellent documentary about a spectacular but unfinished architectural project that strongly reflects the arc of the Cuban experience of the past 60 years.</p></em><br /><br /><p> The Hollywood Reporter reviews <em>Unfinished Spaces</em>, as <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/10152074/unfinished-spaces-to-premiere-this-weekend-in-los-angeles" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">mentioned here last week</a>.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/10152074/unfinished-spaces-to-premiere-this-weekend-in-los-angeles "Unfinished Spaces" to premiere this weekend in Los Angeles Archinect 2011-06-16T18:23:00-04:00 >2012-10-11T17:35:50-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/1d/1dutqajz4zlohnav.jpg" width="350" height="453" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In 1961, three young, visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create the world's most beautiful art school on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school's first classes soon followed. But as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate.</p></em><br /><br /><p> A friend in the independent film industry has mentioned that this film is getting rave reviews. It will be premiering this weekend at the Los Angeles Film Festival. View the trailer <a href="http://www.unfinishedspaces.com/trailer.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>UNFINISHED SPACES</strong><br> Following their emotional exile from Cuba in 1965, three architects return forty years later to finish what was considered the world's most spectacular and futuristic art school, but was left to ruin by the country's Revolution.<br><br> In 1961, three young, visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create Cuba's National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school's first classes soon followed. Dancers, musicians and artists from all over the country reveled in the beauty of the schools, but as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevaili...</p>