Study Tour Fellow Reports



Study Tour Fellowships are provided by the Scott Opler Endowment for New Scholars and fund the participation of a student or emerging scholar on an SAH Study Tour. Read about the tours from the perspective of the fellowship recipients below. 




SAH Study Day - Miami and Miami Beach


Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




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Marsha J. McDonald, Florida International University

Marsha is currently completing her post-professional architectural studies at Florida International University. She is investigating the translation of culture and cultural identity in the built environment, particularly in the regions of the Caribbean and Latin America.  Marsha also completed her professional architectural education which resulted in a Master’s of Architecture degree, from Florida International University.

As a critical voice in the areas of Cultural Architecture and Spatial Design, her research investigates how an individual’s sense of identity affect their interiors and on a macro scale, how newly formed nations of the Caribbean and Latin America shape their cultural landscapes, in the early to mid-twentieth century. Her investigations focuses on how these Caribbean and Latin American nations go through the process of decolonization, as a part of nation-building, by either maintaining or rejecting their relationship with the past. This process is the basis of the emergence of new meanings and a modern narrative which facilitates new spatial representations in their cultural landscapes.  She is recently presented a paper on “Decolonized Spaces: New Spatial Representation in the Post-Colonial British Caribbean” at a local conference. 




SAH Study Day - Columbus, Indiana

Joss Kiely, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Michigan

Joss Kiely is a Ph.D. candidate in architectural history and theory at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received a B.A. in French and architectural studies from Connecticut College, as well as a Master of Architecture and an M.Sc. in architectural history and theory at the University of Michigan with a thesis entitled, Alternative Architectures of Italian Futurism: War, Lust, Flight, and Dance, 1909-39. His current research focuses on defining a latent "aerialism" that developed during the jet age of air travel in the 1950s and 1960s, specifically focusing on a handful of thin shell concrete structures designed by Minoru Yamasaki, Eero Saarinen, and Felix Candela.


Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




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SAH Study Day - MoMA

Emily Morash, Visiting Instructor, Connecticut College; Ph.D. Candidate, Brown University

Emily Morash is a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University in the History of Art and Architecture as well as a visiting instructor in architectural studies at Connecticut College. She received a B.A. in art history and Italian from Smith College and a master’s degree in architectural history from the University of Virginia. She is currently completing a dissertation, Reconstructing Italian Domestic Architecture: Gio Ponti and Lo Stile, 1941-1947, that examines the development of domestic architecture and reconstruction solutions in Milan during and immediately following World War II.


Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




Comment

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SAH Study Day - Los Angeles

Alex Tulinsky, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Washington

Alex Tulinsky is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington in the Ph.D. in the Built Environment, history-theory-representation track. He earned his M.S. in Architecture (history/theory) from the University of Pennsylvania and has a B.A. in political theory from Michigan State University. His dissertation examines residential architecture in Japan in the late 1960s and early 1970s, specifically the small urban house as designed and theorized by three architects: Azuma Takamitsu, Miyawaki Mayumi, and Suzuki Makoto. Recently he has been living in Los Angeles.


Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




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SAH Study Day - Skyscraper Museum's "The Woolworth Building @ 100"

Sarah Rovang, Ph.D. Candidate, Brown University

Sarah is a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University in the History of Art and Architecture. She received her BA in architectural history from the University of Virginia in 2010. Her prospective dissertation examines the intersection of modernism and rural electrification efforts (particularly those of the Rural Electrification Administration) during the New Deal. She will be taking a break from her predominantly rural topic this summer to teach a high school course at Brown on the history of skyscrapers. 

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




Comment

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SAH Study Tour to Cuba - 1

Erica Morawski, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Illinois - Chicago

Erica N. Morawski is a Ph.D. candidate in art History at the University of Illinois – Chicago. She received a BA in art history at Tulane University and MA in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently completing a dissertation entitled, “Designing Destinations: Hotel Architecture, Urbanism, and American Tourism in Puerto Rico and Cuba.” This work investigates the role of hotels in shaping understandings of national identity, which in turn shaped international relationships, through an approach that systematically ties object and image analysis with social, political, and economic histories. Her work argues that these hotels functioned, and continue to function, like diplomatic cultural attachés—their design shaped politics on the islands, and played a decisive role in shaping past and current international relations.

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




Comment

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Three Capitals Tour: New Delhi, Chandigarh, and Dhaka

Gretta Tritch Roman, Ph.D. Candidate, Penn State University

Gretta Tritch Roman is a Ph.D. candidate in art and architectural history at the Pennsylvania State University. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Arkansas and her Master’s degree in art and architectural history at the Pennsylvania State University where she completed a thesis titled, “La mise en scène icarienne:  The Construal of Utopian Space in Nauvoo, Illinois, 1849-58.” Recently her research has focused on strategies of eclectic designs and the ways in which varying audiences respond to such buildings, opening discussions that have ranged from Lucknow, India, to Chicago, Illinois. Currently she is working on her dissertation under the working title, “Rivalry, Revivalism, and Ritual: Building the Grain Exchanges of the American Midwest, 1875-1930.”

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




Comment

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Maison de Verre (Saturday)

Robert Wiesenberger, Columbia University

Robert is a rising second-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. His focus is on the history and theory of 20th century architecture and design, primarily in pre-war Germany. Visiting the Maison de Verre was especially exciting for him given his recent interest in 20th century architectural exchanges between Germany and France, and on the glass architecture of the avant-garde. Robert’s masters thesis examined Herbert Bayer’s exhibition design practice, and in particular his collaboration with László Moholy-Nagy on the 1931 Building Workers Union exhibition in Berlin. Robert holds a B.A. in History and Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago. He has worked at the design firms MetaDesign and Ammunition in San Francisco, and as an intern in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA. He is the recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education.

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




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Mexico City Modernism

Amanda Delorey, Courtauld Institute of Art

Amanda Delorey is currently working on her PhD dissertation “The People v the State: Housing Architecture in Mexico City from Modernism to Contemporary Practices” at the Courtauld Institute of Art, funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation. She received her Master’s degree in Cultural Studies and Critical theory from McMaster University and a BFA in Criticism and Curatorial Studies from the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




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Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity

Nathaniel Walker, Brown University

Nathaniel R. Walker is a graduate student in the History of Art & Architecture Department at Brown University. He received his BA in History from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his MA in Architectural History from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where his Master’s Thesis, entitled “Savannah’s Lost Squares: The Fight Over Savannah’s Town Plan and the Ascendance of Automobility,” received the Outstanding Graduate Thesis Document Award in 2007. Between his time in Savannah and his enrollment at Brown, Nathaniel worked very happily at Mitchell/Matthews Architects & Planners in Charlottesville, Virginia. With his Ph.D. studies, Nathaniel is working to build upon and broaden the scope of a number of the questions he raised while exploring competing conceptions of “Modernity” in 1920s Savannah. Specifically, he is interested in Utopian design and planning in the age of self-conscious “progress” and technological exhibitionism in art, literature, politics, and architecture. 

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




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Civil Rights Memorial Tour

Martin Holland and additional fellowship awardees Grace Dubinson and Carey Shellman

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




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Legacy of Daniel Burnham Tour

Catherine C. Boland

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




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MOMA Study Day on Prefabricated Housing

Mrinalini Rajagopalan

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




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Naples and Campania Tour

Mia Reinoso Genoni

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




Comment

  1.    
     
     
      
       

Estates and Gardens of Chicago's North Shore

Baird Jarman

Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




Comment

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Louis I. Kahn Tour

Amber Wiley and Jennifer Tobias on the Louis Kahn tour

Amber is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the George Washington University specializing in architectural history, urban history, and African-American cultural studies. She is the recipient of the 2010 AERA Minority Fellowship in Education Research and the 2008 SRI Foundation Research Fellow Scholarship for her dissertation “Concrete Solutions: Architecture of Public High Schools During the ‘Urban Crisis’” (Richard Longstreth, committee chair). She received her BA in Architecture from Yale University and her Master’s in Architectural History and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia. Amber sits on the board of directors of the Latrobe Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Yale Black Alumni Association. www.ambernwiley.com


Cuba: Day 6 - Post-Revolution Architecture in Havana

by Erica Morawski | Jan 31, 2013

We had already seen one of the three “Proyectos Grandes” of the early years of the Revolution when we saw Habana del Este. Today we were going to see the other two: CUJAE (Ciudad Universitária José Antonio Echeverria (1959-1965) and the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (1959-1964). That the three “Proyectos Grandes” were a social housing project and two universities reinforces the Revolutionary governments emphasis on housing and education. We first visited CUJAE, where Dr. Jorge Peña Diaz, professor in the architecture department, gave an introductory presentation on the architecture of the university and the current work of the university. Looking at the architecture it was apparent how the architects embraced the creative possibilities of using modular building systems. The campus really is like a city, with covered walkways (to protect against rain) connecting buildings and creating sheltered areas for students to gather and interact.




Before lunch we made a quick stop at the Reparto Abel Santamaria, an area of a neighborhood composed of circular houses and a circular market. We had the opportunity to enter the market building, where Osmin explained to us how Cubans by food with their ration cards.

For many of us, we had been looking forward to our visit to the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (Nacional Schools of Art) before the trip started and the lived experience did not disappoint. The visit was all the more memorable thanks to Universo Garcia, the architect in charge of restoring the schools who accompanied us throughout the campus. This campus was quite a contrast to CUJAE. While the architecture of CUJAE is cohesive and based on a modular system, at the National Schools of Art the different schools are spread out across the land and rendered in highly individual and expressive styles often reliant on traditional building techniques. We first visited the School of Plastic Arts, designed by Ricardo Porro, who also designed the School of Modern Dance and was the lead designer of the project. Universo described how Porro’s design for the School of Plastic Arts was an homage to Cuban roots, and he looked to African villages and the Santería goddess of fertility. The school has been beautifully restored, and Universo described the various interventions made in the restoration and his hope for future maintenance.



We then moved on the School of Music, designed by Vittorio Garratti, an Italian architect that Porro had befriended while at Carlos Villanuevas’s office in Caracas, Venezuela. A visit to the School of Music allowed us to see how much had been done with the restoration of the School of Plastic Arts. The beautiful Catalan roof vaults there were a sharp contrast to the School of Music, where we saw the roofs crumbling because of the tile delamination.

We then visited Garratti’s other contribution, the School of Ballet, which was near completion when Alicia Alonso, head of the National Ballet, declared that the school was unfit and the company would not move there. Visiting this school was an adventure, as we had to cross a half-collapsed bridge to get to the school. This school was the most haunting to me, with large cavernous openings for practice areas, and curving hallways punctuated by openings in the ceiling that let in disorienting strips of light.


Our final visit was to the School of Modern Dance, also designed by Porro (we were unable to visit the fifth school, the School of Dramatic Arts). This school also reminded me of an African village, though I’m not sure if this was Porro’s intention. Like the School of Plastic Arts, this school is still being used, and we could here music coming from some of the classrooms, and students were presumably training inside.




Comment

  1.