January 24, 2010

Modernist architecture in Havana (Cuba) - 2-

 Someillan Building

This sleek highrise building (32 floors)  was built in 1951 by the designs of Fernando R. Castro Cardenas and the structural designs by Jose A. Vila Espinosa.

This a typical floor plan

How the boardwalk near Someillan Building looked in the past.
The floor plan and the last picture are from www.arquitectura-cuba.blogspot.com (a very nice blog with lots of informations)

Plaza de la revolucion

This square (that is one of the biggest of the world) was begun in 1952 under Fulgencio Batista's presidency and was completed in 1959, the year that Fidel Castro came to power. Fidel Castro used to have his speeches from here when he was addressing the Cuban population in special occasions.
The square is dominated by the 109m high José Martí Memorial.
The square may be big, but from the urbanistic view it's rather questionable, even if surrounded by really interesting buildings, the layout doesn't work. Take a look at the link below:


Ministry of Communication

Many government ministries and other buildings are located in and around the Plaza.
The Ministry of State (now Ministry of Informatics and Communications) building (from 1951 - 54 designed by Ernesto Gomez Sampera and Martin Dominguez ) with the big steel outlines of Camilo Cienfuegos (it was made in October 2009 in honor of 50th anniversary of his death). Accompanying the stencil facade are the words "Vas bien, Fidel (You’re doing fine, Fidel), representing the famous response of Camilo to Fidel at the January 8, 1959 rally where Castro declared that the Columbia military barracks would be made into a school, and then asked Camilo, "Am I doing all right, Camilo?"

 today and below in the past

Directly across the Plaza de la Revolución from the José Martí Memorial stands the Ministerio del Interior building (from 1958) instantly recognizable by the enormous bronze wire sculpture of Che Guevara on the facade, which was completed in 1995.

This sculpture was based on the famous photograph of Che taken by Alberto Korda. The words which appear below Che’s image, “Hasta la Victoria Siempre” mean “Ever Onward to Victory” and were the signature in Che’s final letter to Fidel Castro before he was killed in Bolivia.


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