Page C1.1 . 20 December 2000                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department

 

 
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Modern Architecture in Cuba

by Sabine von Fischer

Book Review: The Havana Guide: Modern Architecture 1925-65, by Eduardo Luis Rodriguez. Princeton Architectural Press, 2000, ISBN 1-56898-210-0.

Cuba is not made only of sandy beaches and Spanish colonial buildings but has astounding works of modern architecture to present (and to preserve). If the recent movie, "The Buena Vista Social Club" didn't make it clear, this newly published guide to architecture in Havana from 1925 to 1965 surely will.

Author Eduardo Luis Rodriguez has set as his goal to correct the myth of the revolutionary state as analogous with colonial architecture. In his introduction, he illustrates the history of Modernism in Cuba, which has never received as much international recognition as the architecture of Brazil, Venezuela, or Mexico.

Arranged by Havana's city districts, 200 buildings are documented on one or two pages each. Accompanying text, photographs, and plans relate a complete picture of the works.

 

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ArchWeek Photo

The 1944 House of Gonzalo Arostegui, designed by Rafael de Cardenas, overlooks the Almendares River in Havana, Cuba. The house is now used as offices.
Photo: Princeton Architectural Press

ArchWeek Photo

The Apartment Building of Evangelina Aristigueta de Vidana, by Mario Romanach, 1956.
Photo: Princeton Architectural Press

 

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