AD Visits: Havana, Cuba | Summary and Q&A

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April 13, 2015
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Architectural Digest
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AD Visits: Havana, Cuba

TL;DR

Explore the diverse architectural styles and treasures of Havana, from French Belle Epoque to neoclassical American villas.

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Key Insights

  • 🌍 Havana's architecture reflects influences from America, Europe, and Africa, creating a unique blend of styles.
  • 🚪 Iron grills on windows and doors are a common architectural feature in Havana, providing both privacy and ventilation.
  • 👱 The poor condition of many buildings in Havana can be attributed to the corrosive effect of salt air on concrete.
  • 🏙️ The preservation of Havana's architectural treasures is crucial for maintaining the city's unique character.
  • 🥰 The decorative arts museum and the art school are notable examples of Havana's architectural prowess.
  • 🤑 Havana's architecture is a testament to the city's rich history and its attention to style, design, and architecture.
  • 🧡 The diverse range of colors displayed in Havana's buildings contributes to the city's vibrant and lively atmosphere.

Transcript

I'm Mitchell Owens the decorative arts and antiques editor of Architectural Digest and I will go anywhere in the world to see a great building Cuba was always looking to America to Europe for style cues so you see these amazing French style houses Belle Epoque architecture neoclassical American modern villas 1950s architecture one of the most extra... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are some of the key architectural styles found in Havana?

Havana showcases a range of architectural styles, including French Belle Epoque, neoclassical American villas, and 1950s architecture. These styles give the city a unique and eclectic charm.

Q: Why do many buildings in Havana require constant maintenance?

The use of concrete in Havana's buildings makes them susceptible to damage from salt air. Therefore, constant painting is necessary to ensure their preservation and longevity.

Q: What is the significance of the iron grills on windows and doors in Havana?

The iron grills not only provide privacy but also allow for the open flow of fresh air, thanks to their full-length coverage on the ground floor. This architectural feature was designed to combat the city's heat.

Q: What are some notable architectural landmarks in Havana?

Two notable landmarks include Finca Vigía, the farm of American writer Ernest Hemingway, known for its white and airy rooms, and the decorative arts museum, a French-style palace built in the 1920s and decorated by Parisian design firm Johnson.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Havana boasts a mix of architectural styles, including French Belle Epoque, neoclassical American villas, and 1950s architecture.

  • The city features iron grills on windows and doors, allowing for fresh air and privacy.

  • Despite the poor condition of many buildings, Havana's unique colors and variety of architectural styles make it a captivating city to explore.

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