María Elena Martín Zequeira’s “Great Arches of Havana”

The Arquitectura-Cuba blog features an article by María Elena Martín Zequeira, “Grandes arcos de La Habana.” Focusing, as the title shows, on the use of spectacular arches in Cuban architecture, especially in Havana, the article discusses architectural remodeling in Cuba during the 1950s, when a younger generation of architects was proposing a break from previous models. Martín also proposes a reflection on the tolerance demonstrated in the undertaking of bold works on buildings of great visibility that would acquire unusual importance in the island’s urban life.

The author cites as examples the remodeling performed on pre-existing buildings such as the famed Tropicana (Villa Mina) and the Club Naútico (Nautical Club) at Marianao Beach, both re-interpreted by architect Max Borges Recio.  Borges, who studied at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the early twentieth century, was a leading exponent of the Modern Movement in Cuba. The article explores how the new abstract language preferred by Borges was added on to traditional forms, and far from creating dissonance, providing charm and highlighting the old structures with modern allure.

For full article (in Spanish), see http://arquitectura-cuba.blogspot.com/2008/06/la-arquitectura-cubana-en-la-expo-de.html or http://www.scribd.com/doc/34576373/Arcos-de-La-Habana

For more information on Borges (in English), see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/magazine/2009-lives-to-remember/borges.html

Photos: Club Náutico in Marianao, above, and Tropicana’s Arcos de Cristal, be 

For full article (in Spanish), see http://arquitectura-cuba.blogspot.com/2008/06/la-arquitectura-cubana-en-la-expo-de.html or http://www.scribd.com/doc/34576373/Arcos-de-La-Habana

For more information on Borges (in English), see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/magazine/2009-lives-to-remember/borges.html

Photos: Club Náutico in Marianao, above, and Tropicana’s Arcos de Cristal, below.

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