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’t encourage the practice, but in the city’s oldest and most dilapidated neighborhoods, longtime roof-dwelling families...were usually allowed to stay. The parasites became permanent. — The Washington Post
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 “Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s Forgotten Art Schools.” — nytimes.com
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 “breaking barriers imposed by governments that have nothing to do with the will of the artists” [...]. — theartnewspaper.com
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. — bustler.net
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...
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. — BBC News
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. — npr.org
Unfinished Spaces, a film that we've previously covered here on Archinect, is a documentary about the ambitious Cuban National Art School project, conceived, and ultimately killed, by the revolutionary communist Cuban regime. In addition to an exhaustive schedule of screenings, it will...
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: “What is it about the Art Schools? Why do foreigners love them so much? There’s nothing Cuban about those buildings. They’re ridiculous architecture for Havana and I always hated them.” — Places Journal
On Places, architect Belmont Freeman reconsiders the National Art Schools in Havana — the subject of John Loomis's groundbreaking book Revolution of Forms, as well as a new documentary film and an opera, and a cult favorite among architecture buffs. Does the North American obsession...
An excellent documentary about a spectacular but unfinished architectural project that strongly reflects the arc of the Cuban experience of the past 60 years. — The Hollywood Reporter
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. — Unfinished Spaces
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 here. UNFINISHED SPACES Following their emotional exile from Cuba in 1965, three architects return forty...
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