annexe

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
This week sees the publication of The Havana Project (ed Peter Noever, Prestel, pounds 15.95), a fascinating document that brings together a series of discussions and practical proposals for the future of the magnificent, if beleagured Cuban capital. With an introduction by the erudite Dr Fidel Castro, the book follows the explorations of Havana by a team of internationally renowned architects (none from Britain) as they tackle a hungry city of two million people that contains within it an exquisite old colonial centre, more columns per acre than almost any city in the world, sprawling shanty town slums and some noble efforts at a Modern architecture that is at once specific to Cuba while inviting international comparison (such as Ricardo Porro's unforgettable, yet abandoned School of Fine Arts, Cubanacan, 1961-63 and Vittorio Garatti's danceless School of Ballet, also on the Cubanacan university campus and built in those same brave new years of the Cuban Revolution.

What the book does not tell us is what Miami's Cuban population wants to do with this, the one great city in the Caribbean, if they are ever allowed to get their hands on Cuba after Castro. You would be better off not knowing, but would be advised to read this book and to jump on the Cubana DC10 from Stansted to Havana's Jose Marti airport soon.

Comments