E. Galas, E. Owczarek
Wednesday 19 December 2018 by Libadmin2018


Cuban architecture reflects the cultural diversity of the island. When sightseeing around Havana and observing the varied architecture and the heterogeneous urban structure of the city, we can get the impression that we become witnesses to the tumultuous history of the country. The oldest buildings in Old Havana are from colonial times. In this part of the city we can see the influence of Spanish conquest. It was in sixteenth-century Old Havana that a house model was developed, that featured formal and functional assumptions that were adapted to tropical climate conditions. The characteristics of the colonial house which were shaped around that time have either been repeated or have constituted an inspiration for architecture built in later years, all the way up to the present. Cuban architecture is a mixture of styles and forms. Havana’s buildings are highly diverse - the colonial Spanish eclecticism of Old Havana is mixed with the residential style that began in the 1960’s along with US influence on the island. Since the 1960’s modernism has become dominant. The form of research adopted in the study was the search for common characteristics of the varied buildings that are the result of tradition, climate and geographic conditions. An analysis of selected examples of modernist buildings in Havana makes it possible to search and identify references to assumptions of traditional colonial buildings in modern developments. The observed common and distinct formal and functional traits constitute proof of the island’s architectural and cultural continuity and demonstrate the essence of the identification of the place.

Keywords: cuban architecture, modernism, colonial architecture, cultural continuity, architecture and the cultural context

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