Ricardo Porro, Cuban National Art School Architect, Dies at 89
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.”
School of Modern Dance, by Ricardo PorroSchool of Plastic Arts, by Ricardo PorroTo learn more about the Cuban National Art School project and the related documentary Unfinished Spaces, click here. View full entry
“Unfinished Spaces” documentary receives 2014 SAH Award for Film and Video
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.
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... View full entry
Editor's Picks #286
Alex Maymind highlighted the work of Cornell studio "Ungers vs. Rowe" in a piece titled ARCHIPELAGOS: Ungers vs. Rowe. Both the studio and feature, articulate "a theoretical argument about two divergent Cornell legacies: one, O.M. Ungers and the other, Colin Rowe as exemplary urban design... View full entry
Unfinished Spaces premieres tomorrow night on PBS; Archinect talks to the filmmaker
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 be... View full entry
Foster for Cuban Ballet School, A Dance Of What?
"You have to accept that 50 years have gone by, but the changes should be done by the architect who was in charge. If this architect is no longer able, this is another thing. But the last time I saw Garatti, he was thinking clearly. So there's no reason to put him aside. I don't think it's ethical."
British architect Sir Norman Foster jumps on the opportunity to remodel iconic and unfinished Cuban National Art Schools. But one of the the original architects, Roberto Gottardi, is still alive. (via Alexis Navarro) Also see; Revolution of Forms: Cuba's Forgotten Art Schools by John... View full entry
What Is It About Cuba's National Art Schools?
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... View full entry
Unfinished Spaces: Film Review
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
The Hollywood Reporter reviews Unfinished Spaces, as mentioned here last week. View full entry
"Unfinished Spaces" to premiere this weekend in Los Angeles
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... View full entry