In the spotlight: a master printmaker in Cambridge, Los Carpinteros in Switzerland, and for Spanish speakers, Cuban modernism in Miami and a recent novel now available on U.S. bookshelves.
Last month, urban theorists from Australia, Norway, Italy, Canada, France, Serbia, and the U.S. joined their Cuban hosts for the sixth annual Havana Urban Design Charrette. Focusing on the Barrio Los Sitios neighborhood, they came up with innovative ideas for “the heart and soul of the metropolis.”
In 2002, California filmmaker Charles Koppelman came upon Revolution of Forms, a book by architect John Loomis about the design and construction of Cuba’s still-unfinished national art schools, the Instituto Superior de Artes (ISA) in Havana. Now, after a decade of development and experimentation, the opera Cubanacan: A Revolution of Forms is headed for a Havana recording studio.
As he prepares for the 2012 Havana Charrette taking place later this month, Havana architect and urbanist Julio César Pérez paused to talk with Cuban Art News about the making of Inside Havana (Taschen, 2011), the recently published, Havana-only version of his 2005 book Inside Cuba, now out of print. Here, Pérez recalls his role in the book’s creation, how it came about, what he himself would have done differently, and why it remains such a vital testament to Cuban architectural history.
For architect and urban planner Julio César Pérez, Havana is both a treasury of architectural history and a vibrant reflection of contemporary life on the island. With Inside Havana—a Havana-only version of Inside Cuba (2005), now out of print—Pérez and his collaborators balance the city’s grand mansions and public buildings with glimpses of more modest domestic spaces, intimate and personal.