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Revitalization and modernization of Old Havana, Cuba
h [electronic resource] /
by Mileydis Hernandez.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 105 pages.
Thesis (M.Arch.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: Architecture around the world has been very influential for determining the historical background of many cities. The architecture of the city of Havana in Cuba is etched with unique historical forces and signature buildings. This architecture embodies local reproductions of Western and European styles. The superimposing of Western and European styles led to the formation of a "strange baroquism" that defined the "lasting features of the overall idiosyncrasy of the city." Since Cuba's change of government in the 1950s, architecture has progressed very little. From the day Castro took power, Havana's skyline has hardly altered. After the fall of the former Soviet Union, Cuba had to rely heavily on its own resources and many projects begun in the 1980s had to be halted and still remain unfinished today. Many new buildings in Havana suffer from under investment, lack of resources and little vision.Of the one third of architects who stayed in Cuba after the Revolution their work is mostly limited to tourist hotels or restaurants, catering for the 1 million visitors every year. Most of them do not reflect or adhere to Cuba's rich historical past. Historical preservationists all over the world decided to inscribe La Habana Vieja into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982. They launched a safeguarding campaign a year later to restore the authentic x character of the buildings. While it is important to keep Havana's old charm, it is also imminently necessary to revitalize and meet the needs and functions of a modern society.The dilemma faced by architectural designers is best stated by Paul Ricoeur when he said that the challenge lies in ''how to become modern and to return to sources (while) reviving an old, dormant civilization (in order for it to) take part in a universal civilization." My project will focus on the integration of current needs, functions and modern architecture with the city's old architecture. The desirable site will be located on a public destination in Old Havana. It will focus on how the old and the new architecture will physically connect while meeting the characteristics of new uses and adaptive reuses of existing buildings. This research will be conducted by analyzing the site's existing conditions, by choosing contemporary uses that are missing within the city's structure, by analyzing other projects with similar conditions, and by doing an overall research on existing architectural, economic, and social issues that are related to Old Havana's development.This revitalization will create a new Havana that will preserve its value while meeting modern standards and architectural functionality.
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Advisor: Theodore Trent Green, M.Arch.
x Architecture and Community Design
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Revitalization and Modernization of Old Havana, Cuba by Mileydis Hernandez A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture School of Architecture and Community Design College of The Arts University of South Florida Major Professor: Theodore Trent Green, M. Arch. Stephanie Ferrell, M. Arch. Noel Smith, M.A. Date of Approval: November 12, 2009 Keywords: modern, contemporary, ur ban, fabric, and old architecture Copyright 2009, Mileydis Hernandez
Dedication This thesis is dedicated to my family, who offered me unconditional love and support throug hout the course of this thesis. For my sister who has inspired me and is my best friend. For my parents who have raised me to be the person I am today. You have been with me ever y step of the way, through good times and bad. Thank you for all th e unconditional love, guidance, and support that you have always given me, helping me to succeed and instilling in me the confidence that I am capable of doing anything I put my mind to. Thank you for everything. And finally to my loving Husban d, and two beautiful daughters Katherine and Isabella, who complete my life.
Acknowledgments From the initial stages of this thesis, to the final draft, I owe an immense debt of gratitude to my chair, Professor Theodore Trent Green. His advice, careful guidance and patient encouragement aided the completion of this thesis in innumerable ways. For their efforts and assistance, a special thanks as well to my committee members Stephanie Ferrell and Noel Smith. Whose support of this project was greatly n eeded and deeply appreciated. Finally, I would like to thanks Pablo Riao, from the Old HavanaÂ’ Historian office, for your cooperatio n and assistance on the project. To each of the above, I extend my deepest appreciation
i Table of Contents List of Tables ii List of Figures iii Abstract ix Chapter 1 Introduction Projec t Goals and Description 1 Brief Historical Background 3 Existing Conditions 5 The Architecture of Old Havana 12 Old Havana Layout and Size 14 Chapter 2 Case Studies 16 Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, Spain 17 El Raval 21 Venice, Italy 23 Paris, France 31 El Metro 32 Le Grand Continental Hotel 33 The Jewish Quarter 34 Summary of Three Projects 35 Analysis 40 Chapter 3 Possible Sites 42 Site 1 Paseo Marti Prado 43
ii Site 2 Plaza de la Catedral 45 Site 3 The Harbor/Alameda de Paula 47 Chapter 4 Site Selection and Analysis 50 The Harbor/Alameda de Paula 51 Macro Location-Old Havana 53 Micro Location-Site 57 Discussion 59 Chapter 5 Programming 60 Chapter 6 Conceptual Schematic Design 62 Conditions to Address on the Site 67 Conceptual Sketches 69 Urban Design Strategies 74 Chapter 7 Final Design Solution 75 Renderings 90 Model Pictures 94 Chapter 8 Conclusion 100 References 102
iii List of Tables Table 1 Program 60 Table 2 Program Uses/Day/ Night 61 Table 3 Existing Condition/Proposed Interventions 77
iv List of Figures Figure 1 Falling Apart Building 1Figure 2 Old Havana Street 1Figure 3 Old Havana Faade 1Figure 4 Ancient Havana Map 3Figure 5 Old Havana Corner Building 5Figure 6 Building in despair, dilapidated. 5Figure 7 Old Havana Street 6Figure 8 Church of San Francisco de Asis 12Figure 9 Plaza de la Cathedral 12Figure 10 Plaza Vieja 12Figure 11 Residence of the Marquis of Aguas Claras 13Figure 12 Havana Ancient Map 14Figure 13 Biblioteca Jaume Fuster 17Figure 14 Culture Art Center 17Figure 15 Museum of Contemporary Art 17Figure 16 Ciutat Vella Map 21Figure 17 Constitution Bridge by Calatrava 23Figure 18 Hospital Modern Addition 23Figure 19 Housing in Venice 23Figure 20 Maisier's Memorial House 25Figure 21 Societa Adriatica di Elettricita 26Figure 22 Venice Map 28Figure 23 Tolentino ProjectMain Gate 29Figure 24 Tolentino Project 29Figure 25 Santa Croce Street 29Figure 26 Ministry of Culture 31
v Figure 27 EMI France Headquarters 31Figure 28 Metro Station 31Figure 29 Metro Renovation 32Figure 30 Le Grand Continental Hotel 33Figure 31 Le Grand Continental Hotel Interior 33Figure 32 Jewish quarter street 34Figure 33 Ciutat Vella Plan Diagram 39Figure 34 Venice Plan Diagram 39Figure 35 Paris Plan Diagram 39Figure 36 Ciutat Vella Elevation Diagram 40Figure 37 Venice Elevation Diagram 40Figure 38 Paris Elevation Diagram 40Figure 39 Operative Diagrams/Concept 41Figure 40 Old Havana Aerial 42Figure 41 Site Aerial-El Prado 43Figure 42 Buildings facing El Prado 44Figure 43 El Prado Blvd 44Figure 44 Site Aerial-Plaza de la Catedral 45Figure 45 Plaza de la Catedral 46Figure 46 Site Aerial-The Harbor/Alameda de Paula 47Figure 47 Church of Saint Francis of Paula 49Figure 48 Alameda de Paula 49Figure 49 Old Havana Figure Ground/Pedestrian Path 50Figure 50 Level of Protection 51Figure 51 Old Havana Existing Renovation efforts 53Figure 52 Green Spaces/Squares 55Figure 53 Pedestrian Streets 56Figure 54 Tourist Circulation 56Figure 55 Major Roads/Pedestrian Circulation 57Figure 56 Sun Pattern/Flood Plain 57Figure 57 Water Views/City Views 58
vi Figure 58 Conceptual Design 62Figure 59 Site Sketch Model 64Figure 60 Schematic Design Model 64Figure 61 3d Model with areas of Intervention 65Figure 62 Public Realm/Public Circulation 65Figure 63 Plan View 66Figure 64 New Building to visually turn corner 67Figure 65 Make entry space between new and old 67Figure 66 Relate to Existing Fenestration Pattern 67Figure 67 Steps Corner Condition 68Figure 68 Create Views from paths 68Figure 69 Terminate existing visual axes 68Figure 70 Conceptual Sketch of mode rn building with open plaza on the front 69Figure 71 Conceptual Sketch of historic building with modern intervention 70Figure 72 Water View Sketch 71Figure 73 Pier Open Space Sketch 72Figure 74 Pedestrian Street Sketch 73Figure 75 Schematic Design 75Figure 76 Master Plan 82Figure 77 Naked Plan 83Figure 78 Site Program 84Figure 79 Exploded Axo 85Figure 80 Aerial Massing 86Figure 81 Block Structure 86Figure 82 Proposed Central Space 87Figure 83 San Pedro Street Elevation 87Figure 84 Luz Street Elevation 87Figure 85 Luz Street Elevation (End) 87Figure 86 Street Section 88Figure 87 Street Section-New Library 89
vii Figure 88 Street Section-Park 89Figure 89 Street Rendering 90Figure 90 View of the Park 91Figure 91 View of the Central Space 91Figure 92 Modern Shopping Center 92Figure 93 New Aquatic Museum 92Figure 94 New Marina 93Figure 95 Massing Model 94Figure 96 Design Proposal Model 95Figure 97 Design Proposal Model 96Figure 98 Model 97Figure 99 Model 97Figure 100 Model 98Figure 101 Model 98Figure 102 Model 99
viii Revitalization and Modernizat ion of Old Havana, Cuba Mileydis Hernandez ABSTRACT Architecture around the world has been very influential for determining the historical background of many cities. The architecture of the city of Havana in Cuba is et ched with unique historical forces and signature buildings. This architecture embodies local reproductions of Western and Europe an styles. The superimposing of Western and European styles led to the formation of a Â“strange baroquismÂ” that defined the Â“lasting features of the overall idiosyncrasy of the city.Â” Since CubaÂ’s change of govern ment in the 1950s, architecture has progressed very little. From th e day Castro took power, Havana's skyline has hardly altered. After the fall of the former Soviet Union, Cuba had to rely heavily on its own resources and many projects begun in the 1980s had to be halted and still remain unfinished today. Many new buildings in Havana suffe r from under investment, lack of resources and little vision. Of the one third of architects who stayed in Cuba after the Revolution their work is mostly limited to tourist hotels or restaurants, catering for the 1 million visitors every year. Most of them do not reflect or adhere to Cuba's rich historical past. Historical preservationists all ov er the world decided to inscribe La Habana Vieja into the UNESCO Wo rld Heritage List in 1982. They launched a safeguarding campaign a ye ar later to restore the authentic
ix character of the buildings. While it is important to keep HavanaÂ’s old charm, it is also imminently ne cessary to revitalize and meet the needs and functions of a modern society. The dilemma faced by architectural designers is best stat ed by Paul Ricoeur when he said that the challenge lies in Â‘Â‘how to become modern and to return to sources (while) reviving an old, dorm ant civilization (in order for it to) take part in a universal civilization.Â” My project will focus on the in tegration of current needs, functions and modern architecture wi th the cityÂ’s old architecture. The desirable site will be located on a pu blic destination in Old Havana. It will focus on how the old and the new architecture will physically connect while meeting the characterist ics of new uses and adaptive reuses of existing buildings. This rese arch will be conducted by analyzing the siteÂ’s existing conditions, by choosing contemporary uses that are missing within the cityÂ’s structure, by analyzing other projects with similar conditions, and by doing an overall research on existing architectural, economic, and social issues that are related to Old HavanaÂ’s development. This revita lization will create a new Havana that will preserve its value while meeting modern standards and architectural functionality.
1 Chapter 1 Introduction of Project Goals and Description Figure 1 Falling Apart Building Figure 2 Old Havana Street Figure 3 Old Havana Faade As globalization dictates new trends, most localities strive to maintain competitive growth for their survival. Together with commerce and tourism, they have affected almost all sectors and lifestyles to include how historical places or existing environments must be treated, revived or re-con structed. This paper will go through the existing conditions of the old Havana in Cuba, present
2 contemporary uses and needs that mi ght be missing within the cityÂ’s structure. It will also analyze other similar projects with close relationships to HavanaÂ’s cond ition and development. This revitalization analysis will lead to possible creation of a new Havana that will preserve its value while meeting modern standards and architectural functionality. Key Objectives: 1. To analyse existing pedestrian and vehicular circulation. 2. To develop an understan ding of features and characteristics which would be favourable and preferable for the locals and tourists. 3. To develop a proposal to enhance the living and working conditions. Project Goals: 1. Turn the city into a living and active place for the people that live and work there as well as the tourists that visit every year. 2. Improve vehicular/pedestrian circulation. 3. Create a balance between loca ls and tourists on how the old city is used. 4. Enhance the living condit ions of the locals. 5. Create public and green spaces. 6. Create places which work and that people use, value and feel good in. 7. Respect the history and special character of the city, make it environmentally sustainable and sensitive to the needs of the people.
3 8. Consider matters such as safety, accessibility, quality of life, and protecting heritage and the environment Brief Historical Background Figure 4 Ancient Havana Map Cuba was first visited by Europeans during Sebastin de OcampoÂ’s circumnavigation of the island in 1509. The first Spanish colonists arrived from Hispaniola an d began the conquest of Cuba the following year (IPIN, 2008). Conquist ador Diego Velzquez de Cullar was said to have founded Havana on August 25, 1515. The original site was on the southern coast of th e island near the present town of Surgidero de Bataban and adjacent to the harbor at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. This site pr esented an easy access to the Gulf Stream. This stream was the main route that navigators followed from the Americas to Europe. Havana Â’s location led to its early development as the principal Port of SpainÂ’s New World colonies. Its name is considered to be derived from Habaguanex, an Indian chief who controlled that area, as ment ioned by Diego Velasquez in his report to the king of Spain (IPIN, 2008). During the colonization era, ma ny countries fought over the control of the city of Havana. As the control the city was transferred
4 among European colonists, fortificatio ns were built to help protect the city during the wars. This transf ormed Havana into the most heavily fortified city in the Americas. The biggest and most renowned fortress built in Havana is called San Carlos de la Cabaa. This fortress was considered the biggest Spanish fortif ication in the New World. During the early 1900s, Havana flourished an d became a fashionable city with theaters featuring many world renown ed actors of the time. Cultural facilities were built such as the luxurious Teatro Tacn, the Liceo (Artistic and Literary Lyceum) and th e Teatro Coliseo (Santana, 2000). Its prosperity became known all ov er the world. Havana became known as the Paris of the Antilles. The revitalization of Old Havana w ill preserve the cityÂ’s historical values. Old Havana is in desperat e need of attention and respect. This part of the city houses many buildings with bright and interesting history, great architecture and many sites of interest. Intents to revitalize the city have been made for a long time; however, none have been successful. One of the most importan t aspects of Havana is the strategic location of the city. Fo r a long time, the city served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the continent. During that time its population had amounted to about 4,000 inhabitants. The number of inhabitants continued to grow. The city was reported to have a relatively small native popula tion that was promptly eliminated, leaving few traces in the built envi ronment, archaeolog ical record or culture. The original settlements were called San Cristbal de la Habana. These settlements were founded in 1515 by the Spanish explorer Diego de Velzquez on CubaÂ’s sout hern coast. Later on in 1519, the settlements were relocated to the site of present-day Havana. Spanish treasure galleons that assembled in HavanaÂ’s harbor also
5 played an important role in the city development. From that time on, the city tempted many English, Fr ench, and Dutch buccaneers. Later on Havana became the capital of Cuba. The event took place in the late 16th century. The city had managed to strengthen its positions by the time of both the French and In dian Wars in 1762. During those times Havana fell to Anglo-American forces, but the following year it was returned to the Spanish in ex change for Florida. The most important events took place in the early 19th century. During those times the city was ranked as one of the wealthiest and busiest commercial centers in the Western Hemisphere. Existing Conditions Figure 5 Old Havana Corner Building Figure 6 Building in despair, dilapidated.
6 Figure 7 Old Havana Street The Ciudad de La Habana or Hava na is the capital city of Cuba serving as the countryÂ’s major port and leading commercial center with about 2.6 million inhabitants. Du e to its high population density, it is considered the largest city of the Caribbean region (Butler, 2003). At present, Havana is known for be ing one of the largest and oldest cities in the Americas. The city plays a very important role in the region. First of all, Havana is th e political, economic, and cultural center of Cuba. Since the city ob tained the reputation of being an important hub of air and maritime tr ansportation. Havana became the focal point of Cuban commerce, expo rting sugar, tobacco, and fruits and importing mainly foodstuffs, cotton, and machinery and technical equipment. The city has tried to sustained the development of many industries including shipbuilding, assembly plants, rum distilleries, sugar refineries, and factories making the famous Cuban cigars. Now a dayÂ’s tourism plays a ve ry important role to th e survival of the city. During the 1990s, Cuba redirected its economic model from central planning toward a mixed economy. It is also widely known that the city's hot, humid climate is moderated by sea winds. Currently, Havana possesses one of the best natural harbors in the Caribbean region. The city has both commercial and strategic importance.
7 A renowned historian called Eusebio Leal headed a restoration project that started in 1979. He was awarded a five-year budget of $11 million. While he was the head of the Office of the Historian of the City, he was able to recruit a te am of four architects. The first restoration plan identified a 1.3-squa re-mile area consisting of 242 city blocks, with some 4,000 buildings, inhabited by 74,000 residents and in dire need of repair. The area has about 90 percent structures deemed to have historical or arch itectural value (Adams, 2001). This restoration project aimed to attract foreign investment and revenue as well as harmonize tourist developm ent of which Leal was quoted saying, Â“This is a unique effort. We are creating a system that deals not only with bricks and mortar, bu t also with social and educational programsÂ” (Adams, 2001) The restor ation and reconstruction took place in the crumbling colonial hear t of the city known as Â“La Habana ViejaÂ” (Adams 2001). In 1982, the United Nations decl ared Old Havana as a World Heritage site. The city had won fu ll political recognition in 1993 by the Cuban government. Leal was handed extraordinary power to use the land and rescue the Old City. The rescue plan consisted of creating hotels and real estate joint ventures with foreign investors. His office became responsible for the zoning planning, housing, and parks commissioning, and he was the controller and final arbiter of nearly every public investment decision. Within a few years, a web of companies operated a network of ho tels, restaurants, bars, shops and museums in the city of Old Hava na. Nearly 4,000 architects, construction workers, hotel and restau rant employees with salaries of about $10 a month made up the work fo rce. Its top architects made some 400 pesos, or $20 a month. The office also ran its own school that trained carpenters, masons, pain ters and metalworkers needed to
8 carry out the work. The restorat ion project had profits returned directly to local investment with a sm all percentage going to the state. Businesses boomed and generated 10,000 jobs and earnings of $60million in 2000. While it was consider ed a capitalistic venture, a third of the profits were directed to social education projects and restorations that helped local resi dents. These local restorations included the renovation of public schools, a new public library with 100,000 books, an infant-maternity clinic and a childrenÂ’s park (Adams, 2001). Another renovation was the conversion of the Convent of Belen, built in 1718, into a day care center for the elderly. Even after the restoration, it wa s found that Old HavanaÂ’s urban environment still has vast areas of crumbling buildings which could not be restored due to lack of funds. At the time, the Cuban National Heritage, based in Miami, Florida was set up to help stop the disintegration of HavanaÂ’s environmen t. Many quoted this task as Â“a long way to go to help preserve a city of so many diverse styles and influencesÂ” (Marshall 2001). The character of Old Havana is created in large part by the historic baroque and neo-classica l architecture. These types of structures are evident throughout th e city. Many of them are truly historic in nature but have become tourist destinations, and have lost the use of the local population. Fo r instance, most of the historic buildings surrounding the Plaza Viej a have been restored to their original condition but are today only used as museums and restaurants solely by tourists. While many people rightfully point to the historic structures in their cities, few of these existing structures can match the antiquity that characterizes the buildings in Havana. In this regard, Marshall emphasizes that, Â“The architecture of old Havana represents five
9 centuries of development, from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. Of the 900 historic build ings, 101 date from this century, 460 from last century, 200 from the eight eenth century and an astonishing 144 date from the seve nteenth and sixteenth centuriesÂ” (Marshall 150) Old Havana is today defined by both the harbor and what remains of the old city wall. Th is region contains dozens of monuments, statues and significant hi storic buildings. The old city wall is Â“two kilometers long and t ook 164 years to construct, lasting only sixty six years. In the area defined by its circumference are more than fifty monuments and histor ic buildings of national and international importanceÂ” (Marshall, 150). Not surprisingly, many of the historic buildings are situat ed near the harbor, given its importance in the cityÂ’s commerc e and defense over the years. While these regions of the city remain important today, there were some developmental initiatives that took place following the end of World War II. These developments introduced some constraints in the architecture of Old Havana. Fu rther exacerbating the deterioration of the quality of the ambience of the city were some pragmatic developmental efforts that we re intended to encourage industrialization with little regard to their impact on the cityÂ’s historic fabric. After the war, several industrial complexes were constructed around the bay, including oil refine ries, dockyards, a gas plant, two oil-burning power stations, grain to wers, cargo railways, a fertilizer plant, the piers along the southern half of old Havana, and a very large garbage dump called Cayo Cruz. Th e trade winds that once brought air to the city now brought smoke an d foul odors from these assorted facilitiesÂ” (150).
10 In 1971 a Master Plan was created. It was composed by a number of so-called Â“Autonomous Communities of the Spanish State,Â” the office of the City Historian, an d the City of Havana Assembly of People Power. Its intention was to renovate the first portion of the Malecn from Paseo del Prado to Be lascoain Street in Maceo Park. This area consists of 14 blocks of primarily residential property with a smattering of hotels, offices, and warehouse buildings (Marshall 151). This Master Plan highlighted the need for transportation and the construction of shipping terminals in the area adjacent to HavanaÂ’s bay area. The Master Plan also envisi oned an improved deep-water port facility (Marshall 150). These projec ts were intended to improve the ability of the harbor and bay areas of Havana to be developed later in an effort to reestablish the cityÂ’s connection with the sea (Marshall 150). According to Marshall, Â“Because of the plan, several large port installations were built, including a fishing port. However, the old docks remained and continued to block the southern half of old Havana, in addition, the proposed Traffic Center, which would have removed the old railway terminal and reduced heavy traffic in the inner city, was never constructedÂ” (150). Notwithstanding its promise for fu ture developmental initiatives, some significant problems remain firmly in place today. In this regard, Marshall reports that, Â“The potential of this stretch of waterfront is tremendous; however, there are si gnificant obstacles that need addressing. These problems include th e state of the fabric, the role of the Malecn as a major transport arte ry, the lack of infrastructure, the deterioration wrought by salt water, and the quality of the water in the bayÂ” (151). In the mid 1990s, tourism emerged as the most important source of revenue for the country. Recognizing the potential for generating
11 hard currency, the city planners re novated one of the three main piers at the Custom Building, transforming this facility into a terminal for cruise ships (Marshall 150). Encourag ed by the success of this initial tourism-related project, a new master plan was developed by the City Historian's Office to restore many landmark buildings and plazas in old Havana (Marshall, 150). Â“The Master Plan for the Comprehensive Revitalization of Old Havana was se t up at the end of 1994, at the request of the City Historian's Office The intention of the plan was to study the problems of the historic center and propose the best alternatives for its renovation. Th e Spanish Agency for International Cooperation was a consultant and pa rtial financial supporter of these initiativesÂ” (Marshall 150). Cuba is facing the dilemma of how it can accept new economic investment and growth in ways that are compatible with its cultural heritage and identity without losing its magic as a unique, culturally rich country. All of Cuba's cities will face these pressures, but old Havana will be especially affected. LealÂ’s master plan has informed my project on how it can not only be tourist oriented but also about the inhabitants of the city. My prop osal would include the restoration and revitalization of Old Havana and the integration of modern architecture and uses to the existi ng fabric. This would enhance the living conditions of the locals. It wo uld benefit both the people that live and work there and the thousands of to urists that visit the city for a glimpse of the Cuban way of life.
12 The Architecture of Old Havana Figure 8 Church of San Francisco de Asis Figure 9 Plaza de la Cathedral Figure 10 Plaza Vieja The exquisite architecture of Old Havana is very reminiscent of Seville, Spain. The city can be characterized by narrow, cobbled streets, shady plazas, and window s with wrought iron grillwork. Tantalizing glimpses of cool courty ards and wrought iron balconies can give people the idea of the old past. Havana is also known for offering
13 the unusual sights of brightly painted and somewhat restored buildings. One of the most importan t aspects of HavanaÂ’s architecture is the recognition of the significance of Old Havana to world heritage. At present, the city is regarded as a treasure that cannot be lost. Due to the assistance of UNESCO the city has received a chance to restore some of its crumbling building s to their former glory. There are many features to see in the historic buildings. The majority of the colonial houses in the city had to conform to a basic style: large wooden doors leading in to a one-story house. The feature that was always present was an op en central courtyard that allowed for natural ventilation and social ga thering. Over time, the number of stories within these buildings increa sed. Next, the buildings acquired the features that were typical of the baroque style. Some of these features included large scale ceilings ornate detailing on architectural features and dramatic use of lighting. A clear example of how some of the most beautiful old architecture has been restored is the residence of the former Marquis de Aguas Claras. El Patio, the MarquisÂ’ residence, is placed in the Cathedral Square. This location is very convenient since it means the heart of Old Havana. Today the beautiful 18th century mansion is used as a restaurant. Figure 11 Residence of the Marquis of Aguas Claras
14 Old Havana Size and Layout Figure 12 Havana Ancient Map Just as other cities that were built under the governance of Spain, Havana roughly conforms to legi slation that required cities to be laid out in a grid around a single central square. The main institutions located in the area include the chur ch, governorÂ’s palace and so on. In the 17th century, the develo pment of the grid pattern for Havana was based on the Spanish urban guidelines stipulated by the Law of the Indies (Marshall 149). Th e Law of the Indies required that Â“Streets were arranged at right angles to one another, plazas created, and sites determined for major buildingsÂ” (Crain 29). Prior to this time, different considerations were influential in how the neighborhoods were developed and used in Havana (Marshall 149). In this regard, Marshall states that, Â“T he gridded plans of the New World represent a transition in Europe an thinking from medieval to Renaissance planning. Typically, Hi spano-American plans focus on a square with barracks, a cabildo, and a church. Havana, in contrast, made a square, Plaza Vieja, with out the presence of church or barracks and instead made a square for people and markets. A square based on commerce was rare for the timeÂ” (150). The city of Old Havana has a num ber of buildings including the Plaza des Armas, Plaza de la Cate dral, Plaza de San Francisco and
15 Plaza Vieja. The city was report ed to grow rapidly during the nineteenth century. This fact even tually forced the local government to introduce planning laws in 1818 and in 1862. The laws were posted to regulate land use and building for new suburban districts. Old Havana has a total surface of about 500 acres, covering 242 city blocks. This area was surrounded by the Old City Walls and the open area called Reparto de la s Murallas. Resulting from the demolition of the Walls in the XIX Century, the urban fabric dramatically changed. Today Old Havana exhibits 3500 buildings (22,500 dwellings) in very differen t states of preservation or deterioration. The dwelling units ma ke up for one third of the cityÂ’s apartments and approximately 49% tenement houses. According to the census done by the Plan Maestro de Rehabilitation Integral del Centro Historico de la Habana (which is the planning authority of the Office of the City Historian), the total population of Old Havana is about 70,000 inhabitants, thus givi ng an average density of 250 inhabitants per acre.
16 Chapter 2 Case Studies Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, Spain Venice, Italy Paris, France
17 Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, Spain Figure 13 Biblioteca Jaume Fuster Figure 14 Culture Art Center Figure 15 Museum of Contemporary Art One of the most useful and commendable examples of modernization and revitalization of any area in the world took place from the late 20th to 21st century in Barcelona, Spain. This city could serve as good example for the re vitalization of Old Havana. While Barcelona was considered as the in tellectual and commercial center of northern Spain and its surrounding re gions, Havana was at the center
18 of the New Spanish government at the time of the conquest. While certainly older than Havana, Barcelon a is similarly important in both, culturally and politically. In Spain, at the end of the 20th century, there was a change of government which led to a new city structure. This could be illuminating to the case of Cuba in terms of how democracy and the forces of capitalism impact area deve lopment. It can provide a path of reconstruction and revitalization that Cuba can follow under a democratic government. Â“In the last quarter of the twentieth century, Barcelona has undergone a radical transformation: its economic base, its social structure, the population's habits, its physical structure and even its image have experienced accelerated changes that have been decisive and, in general terms, positive.Â” (Marshall, p 27-28) The urban, economic and social re generation of Ciutat Vella (City Center/Old Barcelona) is an unpre cedented process in the cityÂ’s modern history. This process respon ds to the duty of attending to the basic rights of people while remedy ing structural shortcomings in the district. The results reveal a stro ng commitment to a model of a city center fully integrated and offering quality of life. It guarantees the maintenance of residential activity. This area has been a centre of population for 2000 years. It incl udes El Raval, Santa Caterina, La Ribera, La Barceloneta, La Merc, and over the centuries witnessed the passing of different cultures, styl es and movements. In the last century over-industrialization led to the area being more ignored than destroyed, much like areas of Havana. Â“The degradation of housing (state of conservation and level of domestic services) is, however, at the core of the problems of this district. Its degraded, but not demolis hed architectural heritage, led to the creation of a "surgical model" (in contrast to the plans drawn up
19 from the turn of the century until 1976, in which the common denominator was the proposal for la rge thoroughfares to clean up the district) which opts for the remova l of elements which cannot be recovered, centering its action on rehabilitating dwellings which have been able to withstand the years of degradation.Â” (Cuitat, Narrative) Based on the degradation of ho using, a plan resulted for intensive rehabilitation that focused on life quality and a priority on taking into account the large und erprivileged population and their corresponding poorer residential ar eas. Other objectives included: Consolidating the municipa l decentralizing process; Achieving an administration which was more agile, efficient and useful for the citizen of the district; Improving the living conditions in the district, confronting as a priority the underprivileged islands, and fighting social inequality; Fighting against the degradation of housing and promoting rehabilitation, op ening new urban spaces and increasing the number of ava ilable public facilities for social use in the district; and Promoting the participation and city solidarity in the fight for the improvement of living co nditions in the district. All of the objectives would be achieved by analyzing the historical preservation of buildings either intact, or with modifications suitable to their original designs. Tourists and residents live side by side. Walking through the area on e is immediately struck by the intense desire to preserve the mediev al Â“lookÂ” of the area so attractive to visitors, while providing comfor table, modern interiors, most retaining ancient features where po ssible such as banisters, marble staircases and wood trim (Cuita t, Rehabilitation: Objectives).
20 In Ciutat Vella, Spain, there was a promotion for private rehabilitation. The purpose of th e rehabilitation was the restoration and preservation of the buildings in th e historic area of Barcelona. It was aimed at sites and areas of arch itectural, historic and artistic, cultural, environmental and social in terest. To facilitate the fulfillment of this task, the Ciutat Vella Rehabilitation Office ( ORCV ) was set up in cooperation, through a spec ific agreement, with the Ministry of Fomento and Generalitat of Catalonia This project includes the collaboration of multidisciplinary te ams, coordinated by Office for the Rehabilitation of the Ciutat Vella District. (Cuitat, ARI) The project Â“has respected the ch aracter of the areaÂ” (Ciutat, ARI). Its proponents say, Â“This mode l is clearly transferable to other cities with similar problems of degr adation and density in the historical centre. On a Spanish level, the project Ciutat Vella, as a pioneer, has been used as an example to be followed in many cities. The project has also been widely publicized on a European level. Urgent Plan for social action. Intense action has b een developed by the Division of Personal Services of the District of Ciutat Vella with emphasis on the population, giving special attention to the prevention and fight against social exclusion. It is important to detail here the programmes of social action developed. We point ou t some significant actions: underprivileged children, school tr uancy, assistance and labour rehabilitacion of unfavoured collectives prostitution, addiction, health programmes, adolescents with delinqu ency risks, visits to all the elderly in the DistrictÂ” (Cuitat, ARI) According to the article above, this plan could prove to be an im portant aspect in the redevelopment of Havana. Given the countryÂ’s long standing socialist government and governmental pact with its people, any moves to introduce redevelopment in the city without th e complete advice and consent of
21 the government will be viewed as in trusive. Any attempt by outsiders (capitalist investors) could reveal the exclusion of the lower classes, which has not been acknowledged by the government. Figure 16 Ciutat Vella Map El Raval El Raval is a neighborhood within the wider Ciutat Vella district. The neighborhood is also known as Barri Xino, or "Chinatown," and is one of two historical neighborhood s bordering the Rambla (the main commercial thoroughfare; the other be ing the Barri Gotic). This suburb is home to 200,000 people. It has been historically noted and infamous for its nightlife and caba rets, as well as prostitution and crime. With the overall rejuvenation of Cuitat Vella, El Raval has changed significantly in recent years. Due its central location, it has become an attraction in itself for visitors to Barcelona. The suburb of Raval is currently the home to a diverse immigrant community. This co mmunity includes Pakistanis,
22 Indonesians, and more recently, people from eastern European communities among others. It is home to many artists, and is becoming one of the hippest up -and-coming neighborhoods of Barcelona. On the west side of Les Rambles, el Raval district has become a vibrant mix of museums and art galleries. It has maintained somewhat of a notorious red-light area, perhaps a testimony to historical traditions deeply entren ched. This neighborhood presents plenty of cultural variety beginning with performers on Las Ramblas, shops and strings of street artists. Once considered unsafe, the Raval has been undergoing urban regeneration and continues to improve. It has become more visitor-friendly th roughout time. Local government, in an attempt to clean up the neighborhood, has demolished many old buildings, widened streets and open ed new squares in which people can congregate. The result is an area where old and new architecture are pleasantly mixed. Architect Anton Gaudi has had a tremendous influence on the rejuvenation of Barcelona as a comme rcial tourist and arts center. His famous ongoing project, la Sagrada Familia cathedral, is one of the most dramatic buildings in todayÂ’s Barcelona. This project was begun in the early 1900s and continues its ri se to the sky. This project is now guided by modern architects following Anton GaudiÂ’s great design, artistic, and mathematical talents.
23 Venice, Italy Figure 17 Constitution Bridge by Calatrava Figure 18 Hospital Modern Addition Figure 19 Housing in Venice Since World War II the plight of Venice has become a cause for international concern. The increasi ng severity of the flooding, known as acqua alta which afflicts the city, has begun to make daily life more and more difficult. The floods occu r whenever the equinoctial high tides coincide with south winds, wh ich prevent the outgoing tide from flowing out of the lagoon. The chie f cause of the worsening situation
24 has been the steady draining of artesian water from the bedrock underneath the lagoon to satisfy the heavy demands of local industry, which has led to the progressive si nking of the terrain of Venice. (Howard, p 231) The working class housing in th e city is well below modern standards. Parks and other am enities of modern cities are conspicuously missing. Attempts to modernize old housing, as in Barcelona, have resulted in rent s far beyond the means of ordinary citizens. Â“At the same time there is a strong sense of the need to preserve the fabric of the city. In recent decades, fund-raising campaigns on an international scale have financed the restoration of a number of notable architectural mo numents. Rigid planning controls now forbid visible alterations to hi storic buildings, and the authorities can even force owners to remo ve extra stories added without permission.Â” (Howard, p 233) Politics and culture play a huge part in modernization. In one famous incident, planning restrictio ns prevented the erection of what might have been the finest archit ecture example of the twentieth century in the city. Frank Lloyd Wr ight proposed to build a Memorial House to replace an existing buildin g. This reconstruction would be called Masieri and it was intended to be a centre for foreign architectural students. It would be located on the Grand Canal between the Palazzo Balbi and the mouth of the Rio di Ca'Foscari. The designed was created by Wright with imaginative traditional Venetian elements blending perfectly with th e Palazzo Balbi. Wealthy owners, speaking on behalf of similarl y wealthy neighbors, convinced authorities to reject the project and insist on preserving the existing
25 faade of the original building on the site. The project was never approved and the building collapsed shortly after. Figure 20 Maisier's Memorial House Another good example in Venice, set back from the Grand Canal on a broad flight of raised steps, is the new railway station. This stationÂ’s design is challenged by th e buildings that surround it. Most professionals agreed that the statio n design is not offensive and is both functional and pleasing to the eye. In the same year, a new office block for the electrical co mpany, the Societ Adriatica di Elettricit, began construction on the banks of the Rio Nuovo. The architects of this building, Angelo Scattolin and Luigi Vetti, took over the approximate scale and rhythm of the bays from Venetian architectural convention. The design does not try to address the surrounding buildings. Admittedly, the surroundings on the Rio Nuovo were neither historic nor architectura lly distinguished. However, what is called the international post-War of fice block style fits uneasily into the context of Venice as a whole. (Howard, p 234)
26 Figure 21 Societa Adriatica di Elettricita The fate of contemporary architecture in Venice as elsewhere seems to indicate that pu blic bodies, and those with wealth and influence, are less seriously rest ricted by planning controls than ordinary private individuals. (The ex ception is, of course, the Biennale, where architectural innovation ha s always been welcomed, even expected.) No conversation regarding preserving historic places in Venice is complete without the discussion of it s flooding issues that threaten to destroy both old and modern structur es. Associated Press reports that a $5.2 billion project to build flood ba rriers to save Venice is going forward. The project Â“MosesÂ” has been opposed by environmentalists who say the project will turn Venice into a nightmare of stagnant ponds. The project's most prominent critic, Colgate University archaeologist Albert Ammerman, insists Â“...the gates will have to be closed far more often than their planners say. Since most of Venice's sewers empty into the city's canals and lagoon with little or no treatment, frequent lagoon cl osures could trigger serious environmental consequences.Â” (Woodard, Monitor) Any discussion of restoring and preserving buildings in Venice must also include materials either co nstantly underwater or exposed to high levels of humidity. Â“The scien ce behind waterÂ’s impact on these
27 building materials is essential to providing Venice with the extra precautions necessary for its preservation.Â” (? Building Materials) Many people question how conserva tors can repair damage done by water while halting or slowing further damage. This is a question that will surely be relevant to any restorat ion in Havana in its highly humid, hurricane-experienced environment. Another important question is whether Venice has done enough to protect its buildings from water damage, and whether organizations such as UNESCO have provided sufficient aid to ensure its success (Building Materials). The history of Venice and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is ongoing. Its architectural history co incides with politics of the times, social aspirations of its people, and the citiesÂ’ will to protect their importance to world history. Â“The fa te of contemporary architecture in Venice, as elsewhere, seems to indicate that public bodies, and those with wealth and influence, are less seriously restricted by planning controls than ordinary private individu als. (The exception is, of course, the Biennale, where architectura l innovation has always been welcomed, even expected.)Â”(Howard, p 234) Despite its transitions under various regimes and rulers, and the technical obstacles presented by th e ever-threatening waters that surround and often inundate, Â“the Ve netian environment remains an exciting challenge to architects. The conservation of the city's architectural heritage should be a lo ng term aim, but this should not be allowed to stifle the creative energies of the architects of the future.Â”(Howard, p 237) Â“...dramatic as the problems in Venice are, they are by no means unique. Few of the worldÂ’s cities have historic cores as valuable...But in varying degrees they share VeniceÂ’s problems....Thus the next stage of central city rege neration will be one in which the
28 massive Â“slum clearanceÂ” of recent decades will be replaced by the discriminating insertion of new build ings and facilities to reinforce desirable neighborhood patterns an d lifestyles.Â” (Fitch, p 50) The article above also includes careful hi storic renovation, consideration of new uses, and the modernization of se rvices and utilities as core to the overall plan of any city anywhere, including Havana. Figure 22 Venice Map
29 Figure 23 Tolentino ProjectMain Gate Figure 24 Tolentino Project Figure 25 Santa Croce Street In 1966 the concept of 'insulae' to control flooding was born. This concept was utilized in the Tole ntini project designed to protect some of the separate 'islands' within the city of Venice. The Â“islandsÂ” are formed by buildings and open sp aces surrounded by canals. These islands are designed by raising the levels of the pavements at their edges to a fixed design height: first at 0.80 meters AMSL (1973) and later 1.00 meter AMSL (1984). This design height is the tide/surge level at which the mobile gates wo uld be closed, thereby preventing
30 higher flood levels throughout th e Lagoon and city, and keeping the insulae dry. The Tolentini project in the sestiere of Santa Croce, located on one of the city's main thoroughfares, is the first insulae scheme to be approved by the Venetian city. It proposes raising the pavements and parts of the Campo San Nicolo to 1.00 meter AMSL. The current levels of the canal e dge of the fundament vary from 1.02 meters AMSL to 0.71 meter AMSL (mean 0.92 meter), and at the building edge from 1.04 meters AM SL to 0.94 meter AMSL (mean 1.00 meter) (Rowsell, p 1). Santa Croce sits in the North West part of the main islands of Venice and is divided into two areas. The district is home to VeniceÂ’s bus station and car parks. Eight historic churches and main tourist attractions reside in the area. This area was one of the first to receive the controversial Â“cement inject ionsÂ” to beef up its sagging underpinnings over the ye ars in order to save centuries old historic buildings and the newer buildings built as a result of the opening of the lagoon road.
31 Paris, France Figure 26 Ministry of Culture Figure 27 EMI France Headquarters Figure 28 Metro Station Three excellent examples of revi talization and modernization of a city are the ongoing renovations to the famous Paris Metro; Le Grand Continental Hotel in the historic center of the city; and the gentrification of the Jewish Quarter.
32 The Metro Sacrificing form for function, re novations under way in the Metro would make such stark changes as the installation of white tiles in the Opera station, replacing current desi gn aspects that make the station unique and identify it as the area it services. Â“The vast Opra stationÂ’s groovy blue tiles and retro typograp hy, for example, were replaced this past winter with humdrum white (tile) walls. The seventiesswimming-pool sensibility of the origin al design created a funky design time capsule, now lost.Â” (Global Moxie, May 24, 2008) The blogger on Global Moxie hopes other stations w ill survive the sterile look of the Opera and be graced with designs as timely and appropriate as the Concorde stationÂ’s tribute to the Re volution with letters spelling out the text of the La Dclaration des Droits de lÂ’Homme et du Citoyen The Metro is a city noted for its ar tistic innovation. It is never reluctant to express its modern self, amid its rich historical past as evidenced by the many modern bu ildings peppered throughout the city-the Centre Pompidou being a prime example. Figure 29 Metro Renovation
33 Le Grand Continental Hotel Le Grand Hotel, built by Napoleon III in 1862, became officially listed as a national heritage site. The historic renovation of this hotel exemplifies the cityÂ’s attention to hi storic renovation and modern use. Today it is called the InterContinental Le Grand Hotel. The Hotel Online site reports that it includes ev ery aspect of historic renovation. From small details such as re-silver ing of original mirrors to a major addition of the new Club Intercontinental wing (which blends perfectly with the original outer building design ). The hotel's famous Caf de la PaixÂ—haunt of notables including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar WildeÂ—along with the storied Le Gr and Salon Opera, the cityÂ’s most famous ballroom, were restored under the French government's Department des Beaux Arts. They ensured that the project retained its Second Empire Style along with open space. Figure 30 Le Grand Continental Hotel Figure 31 Le Grand Continental Hotel Interior
34 The Jewish Quarter In stark contrast to the hotel renovations, a New York Times article details complaints by resi dents of the rue des Rosiers, the Jewish Quarter of the city. The re sidents complained about the guise of renovation, saying that the city is trying to turn the area into a Â“Jewish DisneylandÂ” for commercial pu rposes." For the city, Â“the plan to renovate the historic rue des Ro siers and close it to traffic every Sunday afternoon is noth ing more than a small but necessary step in a grand vision to modernize the French capital.Â” (New York Times, July 2009) The residents however, the arti cle says, Â“want to keep the area as a Jewish enclave but instead are co nfronted with an influx of high real estate prices and Â‘bourgeois bohemians,Â’ whose upscale shops, motorbikes and nightclubs have inva ded theirspace and will eventually drive them out.Â” (New York Times, July 2009) Figure 32 Jewish quarter street
35 Summary of Three Projects The three case studies discussed above provide a wealth of information pertinent and useful to other projects, including the Revitalization and Modernization of Old Havana. These case studies discussed how renovations and addition of modern uses and architecture ongoing in the three Eu ropean cities were introduced and currently work. Each study presents problems that while different, are at times the same, based on social attitudes, cultural biases, financing and a myriad of other consideratio ns that make decisions on how projects move forward. For Barcelona, the evolution of its history has played a central role. Its status as an intellectual and cultural center of northern Spain together with a surging democr acy prompted interest in the revitalization of the center city. Politics, nationalism, and a pragmatically-minded populace enable d city planners to promote the project and see it through to its successful conclusion. The death of the dictator Franco enabled it to fr ee itself from dominance by larger Spanish interests. In the 1980s a second renaixena occurred, which in essence was a political and social evolution that lead to the historic renovation of Ciutat Vella. The Cuitat Vella, or Old Town Pr oject, addresses the rights of people while addressing structural shortcomings and the addition of amenities in an area which over ti me had been ignored. Its goal: Â“improving the living conditions in th e district, confronting as a priority the underprivileged islands, and fighti ng the social inequality; fighting against the housing degradation and promoting rehabilitation; opening new urban spaces and increasing the number of available public facilities for social use in the dist rict; promoting the participation and
36 city solidarity in the fight for the improvement of living conditions in the district.Â” (Cuitat, Re habilitation: Objectives) On the contrary, in Venice, th e concept of revitalization and preservation for the public good has little meaning. Wealth and influence have a great bearing on projects, leaving the concept of improving quality of life for all citi zens in the background when it comes to decision-making. Since th e end of World War II Venice and its deterioration has become a world concern in contrast to BarcelonaÂ’s self-examination and determination to make the city a better, more livable place. Granted, Barcelona has not included modern architecture into its Cuitat Vella plan as has Venice, although not always appropriate in terms of desi gn. Many authors discuss that the working class housing in the city of Venice is well below modern standards. Parks and other am enities of modern cities are conspicuously missing. Attempts to modernize old housing, as in Barcelona, have resulted in rent s far beyond the means of ordinary citizens. In short, renovation has little if anything to do with social responsibility and more to do with self preservation from flooding and amenities for those who can afford to use them. There, as stated, politics and culture play a huge part in modernization. In one famous incident, planning restrictions prev ented the erection of what might well have been the finest example of twentieth century architecture in the city--Frank Lloyd WrightÂ’s 'Masieri Memorial House'...Â” In short, modernization was prohibited by those with influence, just for the sake of power. (you have already discussed this project earlier) While a 5.2 billion project moves forward to save Venice from flood plains, the fact remains that self-preservation over historic concern prominent in Venice and missing in Barcelona. Doubts have been raised as to whether UNESCO has provided sufficient funds to see
37 the flood project through. Although Â“...dramatic as the problems in Venice are, they are by no means unique. Few of the worldÂ’s cities have historic cores as valuable...But in varying degrees they share VeniceÂ’s problems...Â” Thus the next stage of central city regeneration hopefully will be one in which the massive slum clearance of recent decades will be replaced by modern buildings and facilities meant to support decent to reinforce desirable neighborhood patterns and lifestyles (Fitch). Whether the project has the unanimous public support of Cuitat Vella remains a dubious question. The third historic case study focuses on Paris, where attitudes toward renovation depend largely on commercial interests. This is combined with a hyper-cultural view of its historical treasures as targets of exacting preservation, and its neighborhoods as somewhat expendable. Parisians like modernity, and have applied it throughout their city with liberal lan. Unlik e Barcelona, they are comfortable combining modern innovation buildi ngs with historical treasures. Evidence of this can be found on an y street in Paris, where perfectly preserved historic buildings sit side by side with modern structures often incongruent with its neighb orhood and surrounding buildings. The mentality of Parisians toward historic preservation and renovation is unique. At times th ey are willing to renovate, upgrade as it were, aspects of its histor ic infrastructure, while fiercely prohibiting even minor tinkering wi th other structures; and at other times more focused on modernizin g and commercially oriented. These attitudes are very dive rgent from those of either Barcelona or Venice. Evidence of th is is that Paris is less focused on preserving ethnic neighborhoods than Barcelona, less interested in the preservation of cultural cliques, and more than willing to change and upgrade things as iconoclastic as the world renowned Metro stations.
38 On one hand they pay excruciating attention to detail when renovating Napoleonic era hotels such as Le Grand Continental, relegating its historic renovation to the auspices of the government department Beaux Arts. On the other hand, the famous Jewish Quarter is allowed to fall victim to modern commercialis m. Residents of the area say it will turn it into a Jewish Disney land. Criticism of the cityÂ’s unwillingness to renova te buildings in many neighborhoods into affordable housing has been an issu e since the 1970s. Criticism of the city being too willing to construct mo dern buildings at the expense of rehabilitating old buildings that should be preserved is ongoing. Yet, the city has always been known for its innovative bent, its willingness to promote the new and the avantgarde. Therefore its attitude toward rehabilitation and renovati on of the old should not be surprising.
39 Analysis Figure 33 Ciutat Vella Plan Diagram Figure 34 Venice Plan Diagram Figure 35 Paris Plan Diagram
40 Figure 36 Ciutat Vella Elevation Diagram Figure 37 Venice Elevation Diagram Figure 38 Paris Elevation Diagram These diagrams show how the modern interventions to the city have merged with the fabric at plan and elevation levels.
41 Figure 39 Operative Diagrams/Concept
42 Chapter 3 Possible Sites Figure 40 Old Havana Aerial
43 Site 1 Paseo de Marti Prado. Figure 41 Site Aerial-El Prado The Prado also has a number of fe atures that makes it ripe for renovation and development. Beautiful TreeÂ–lined promenade with wide sidewalks [see Figure 48 below]; Stone benches that divide its outer edges from the streets; Historical architectural variety; Continuous arcades at street level, under all the buildings; and Deteriorated building conditions found within the area adjacent to the boulevard (mostly residential). The Prado neighborhood begins at the north waterfront near La Punta Fortress and remains a major thoroughfare until it links with Mximo Gmez (Crain, 35).
44 Figure 42 Buildings facing El Prado Figure 43 El Prado Blvd
45 Site 2 Plaza de la Catedral Figure 44 Site Aerial-Plaza de la Catedral Â“Plaza de la Catedral is a remarkable colonial entity in old HavanaÂ… It houses many historic buildingsÂ” (Marshall, 151). Numerous historic buildings; Ambience that makes it a desirable locale for commercial development; Regarded by many observers to be Havana's most architecturally harmonious square; Some buildings have been re stored in this area; and It is already established as a tourist destination. Some of the more historic and interesting buildings include: 1. The baroque cathedral of San Cris tobal de la Habana, originally commissioned by the Jesuits an d built from 1748 to 1777; 2. El Palacio de los Condes Bayona, the oldest Spanish building on the square, built in 1720; 3. The Marqueses de Arcos residence of 1741; 4. The Palace of Conde Lombillo of 1587; and,
46 5. The palace of the Marqueses de Aguas Claras, descendants of Ponce de Len who went to Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth (Marshall 151). + The Plaza de la Catedral has a number of developmental initiatives which have already taken place in this neighborhood. For example, besides the baroque cathedral of Sa n Cristobal de la Habana, Crain reports that, Â“Magnificent mansions th at provided the spatial definition for the square have been restored and adapted as a gallery, restaurants, museums, and so onÂ” (34). Figure 45 Plaza de la Catedral
47 Site 3 The Harbor/Alameda de Paula Figure 46 Site Aerial-The Harbor/Alameda de Paula A portion of Old Havana exists adja cent to the pier area near the Alameda de Paula that forms a tria ngle bordered by Calle de Santa Clara, Avenida Cuba and Avenida de Paula San Pedro. This area also presents an interesting location fo r renovation and modernization. It is isolated and somewhat disconnected from the mainly more visited parts of the city, due to its deterioration. It is in need of restoration: due to natural disasters there are three piers destroyed and le ft to dilapidate. They sit unattractively on the waterfront the type of urban blight that has kept the area from becoming a viable tourist attraction. Alameda de Paula is the olde st promenade in the Cuban capital. It presents the opportunity of waterfront property, with great views and accessibility that give way to great living conditions and/or tourist destinations.
48 Since this area sits within on e of the main avenues in Old Havana, it presents the opportunity for commercial development as well as residential and tourist developments. The Harbor may be considered the lower end of Old Havana in terms of location. The Office of HistoryÂ’s strategy was to begin restoration of the area with the five main plazas of Old Havana and the streets that connect them, creating an attractive atmosphere for pedestrians. With the Plaza Vieja as its centerpiece, this has somewhat but not completely accomplished. Th e triangle, as of now, remains. The development of the formerly called Inner Havana led to the design of huge construction projects, one of which was the Alameda de Paula. Considered the first boulevard in the city, it was built by Antonio Fernndez Trebejo in 1776. In the glory days of old Havana as center of the Spanish colonial go vernment, it became a true social and cultural mecca, the vein of commerce between a thriving waterfront and the inner city. In the beginning, the street cons isted of a dirt road lined with poplars and stone benches--a pl easant meeting place for the inhabitants of the Village of San Cr istbal, which lacked recreational sites at the time. However, as with many sections of many cities, its attraction for tourists diminished ov er time with the cityÂ’s spread. The Alameda de Paula takes its na me from the former Hospital of Saint Francis of Paula, whose construction began in 1664 beside a church. In 1730, a hurricane hit the capital and destroyed both buildings, which were reconstructed in the current baroque style. Both the hospital and part of the church were demolished in 1946, reducing its attraction for tourists. Most ch oose to stay above the triangle and visit more interesting and advertised sites. Some relatively recent
49 renovations have readied the church and it is for used for baroque concerts. Figure 47 Church of Saint Francis of Paula Figure 48 Alameda de Paula
50 Chapter 4 Site Selection and Analysis Figure 49 Old Havana Figure Ground/Pedestrian Path
51 The Harbor/Alameda de Paula The geographic location of this part of the Harbor is highly suitable for commercial developmen t. Although it is becoming increasingly apparent that such effo rts will be required to balance the residential aspects of the neighborh ood. Such renovations will identify ways to improve the existing condition of the structures that are in place without destroying the essence of what makes the area attractive for development in the first place. Figure 50 Level of Protection Approximately one seventh of th e above mentioned figure of 35,500 existing buildings in the Hist oric Center are considered to
52 exhibit a great value with a protection category ranking one or two. In terms of these criteria the indexes, based upon international classification, takes into consid eration the importance of the architectural, historic or social ch aracter, or even the uniqueness as a sample of a certain typology. The Historic Center is overwhelmed by inadequate housing conditions, the qualitative and quanti tative lack of services, and the inappropriate use of buildings with illegal sub-divisions and consequent overpopulation. When all of these conditions are added it results in excessive structural loads that acce lerate the deterioration of these buildings, and, by extension th e overall environment of the neighborhood. The built environment has been disr egarded for a very long time. Meanwhile, the introduction of non-compatible and aggressive uses further impacted the character of the original historic structures. Macro Analysis: Site within Old Havana The diagram above shows the resu lt of the present restorations efforts by the Office of the City Historian. Most of the restored buildings have been turned into mu seums, restaurants and hotels for tourists, which are the number one sour ce of income. This restoration process has left the locals out, many of them having to move out of the city into new developments. The major restorations have taken place around the Plaza Vieja and the Plaza de Armas, which have become very important tourist destinations.
53 Figure 51 Old Havana Existing Renovation efforts
55 Figure 52 Green Spaces/Squares
56 Figure 53 Pedestrian Streets Figure 54 Tourist Circulation
57 Micro Site Analysis Figure 55 Major Roads/Pedestrian Circulation Figure 56 Sun Pattern/Flood Plain
58 Figure 57 Water Views/City Views Discussion Hunt (2008) suggested that there is also much need to integrate global and even individual tourist prospectsÂ’ expectations as well as the ongoing progress within the Old Havana. As Segre, Coyula and Scarpaci (1997) suggested, Â“Time and neglect are etched onto both faces. The utopian ideal of restoring Havana will not only depend on life-saving foreign investment, real-estate develope rs, multinational corporations, or joint ventures. It will take more than skyscrapers, shiny hotels, and luxurious condominiu ms to revive a lackluster Havana and to restore its original radiance,Â” (p 390) commenting on the Â“Antillean PearlÂ” goal of the socialist government.
59 According to Graham, Ashworth and Tunbridge (2000), there are three dimensions along which heri tage and geography intersect: 1. Heritage is inherently a spatial phenomenon, characterized by location, distribution and scale; 2. It is a fundamental part of cu ltural geographyÂ’s concern with signification, representation and identity; and, 3. Heritage is an economic instrume nt in policies of regional and urban development and regeneration (256). Taken together, the foregoing consid erations suggest that economic development initiatives must be though tful and careful. They focus in how best to utilize existing structur es including their facades in order to maintain those qualities that co mprise the desirable features of a neighborhood while balancing the n eeds of the residents and visitors to the area.
60 Chapter 5 Programming The goal of my project is to cr eate a program that will create a mix of different activities and spac es to active the life of the city. -Entertainment areas -Esplanades/Promenades -Parks/Open Spaces destinations -Commercial Node -Plaza Intersections The promotion of cheaper accommo dation alternatives such as hostels and pensions is a good practi ce to achieve the planned goal to involve the inhabitants in the system. Use Total SF Residential 250,000 Retail 125,000 Cultural 55,000 Office/Institutional 45,000 Dining and Entertainment 65,000 Total 540,000 Table 1 Program
61 Program Uses Use Day/Night Bookstore Day and Night Health Clubs Day Jewelry Stores Day Antique Shops Day Clothing Shops Day Food Stores Day Drug Stores Day Museums Day Art Galleries Day Music Stores Day Banks Day Public Offices Day Ice Cream Shops Day and Night Restaurants Day and Night Coffee Shops Day and Night Theater Day and Night Performance Space Day and Night Nightclubs Day and Night Hotel Day and Night Table 2 Program Uses/Day/Night
62 Chapter 6 Conceptual Schematic Design Figure 58 Conceptual Design
63 A number of potential projects ex ist for this region. Although the dock facilities will have to be removed to allow, for example, for the opening of the old walled precinct of the city to the water, and the recycling of the piers for commercial and leisure uses. This will allow for the public green spaces, related to the revitalization of the Alameda de Paula, to include things such as seafood restaurants (thereby promoting local fishing), art galleries and shops. It would also allow the provision of boat tours around the bay or to nearby places. Any successful resurgence will de pend on the areaÂ’s connection to the Old Havana tourist center, through the narrow byways of the triangle. One positive starting place to affect this connectivity is Calle de Cuba, Cuba Street. Cuba Street, connected diagonally to the two other streets mentioned in the triangle, traver ses the entire perimeter of Old Havana. It is called the Street of C hurches, its crosses form a straight line all of the way, from one end to the other. Three of the oldest religious buildings in Havana are located on this streetÂ—La Merced, better to leave this in Spanish The Sacred Spirit Churches and the old Santa ClaraÂ’s Convent, which sits on the narrow Santa Clara Street vein. Transportation connections fr om Cuba Street through the warren of interconnecting streets would surely rejuvenate the Alameda de Paula area and promote further develo pment. Historic renovation and upgrading of old buildings on the connecting streets mentioned would go a long way in improving the area and its attraction as a viable section of the city worth a visit from tourist and for residents a neighborhood worth living in. Succe ssful connections from the Plaza Vieja, center of Old Havana, to Cu ba Street and on through the other streets of the triangle to Alameda de Paula would ensure development interest, the historical renovation of buildings in the area and addition
64 of amenities favorable to residence, commercial enterprise and tourism, culminating in a rebi rth of the Alameda de Paula. Figure 59 Site Sketch Model Figure 60 Schematic Design Model
65 Figure 61 3d Model with areas of Intervention Figure 62 Public Realm/Public Circulation Figure 62 shows the proposed major routes for the area. The red dots represent the major public nodes for the master plan.
66 Figure 63 Plan View
67 Conditions to Address on the Site Figure 64 New Building to visually turn corner Figure 65 Make entry space between new and old Figure 66 Relate to Existing Fenestration Pattern
68 Figure 67 Steps Corner Condition Figure 68 Create Views from paths Figure 69 Terminate existing visual axes
69 Conceptual Sketches Figure 70 Conceptual Sketch of modern building with open plaza on the front Figure 70 shows a possible intervent ion on a corner street where a historic building has been replaced by a modern building with some open space in the front.
70 Figure 71 Conceptual Sketch of historic building with modern intervention Figure 71 shows how a historic bu ildingÂ’s first two floors have been removed to create an open space and widen the sidewalk.
71 Figure 72 Water View Sketch Figure 72 shows a possible terminus for a street that terminates on the waterfront.
72 Figure 73 Pier Open Space Sketch Figure 73 shows an idea for conv erting one of the piers into a public space.
73 Figure 74 Pedestrian Street Sketch Figure 74 shows a sketch of the l ook of a possible street closed to car circulation. It has a pub lic space with green areas for the residents. Urban Design Strategies My Urban Design Plan establishes the following priorities: 1. Improve the design and appe arance of historic buildings; 2. Preserve important parts of the City's heritage; 3. Enhance the vibrancy and diversity of Old HavanaÂ’s character and setting; 4. Transform the quality of place through public realm improvements;
74 5. Integrate public and private sp aces and enhance peoples' use and enjoyment of the City; and 6. Create a strategy to reconnect the city.
75 Chapter 7 Final Design Solution This thesis has arrived at a design proposal that addresses existing problems in the site an d creates a framework for future revitalization and modernization of Old Havana. Figure 75 Schematic Design
76 Table 3 Existing Conditions/Proposed Interventions
77 Table 4 Existing Conditions/Proposed Interventions
78 Table 5 Existing Conditions/Proposed Interventions
79 Table 6 Existing Conditions/Proposed Interventions
80 Table 7 Existing Conditions/Proposed Interventions
81 Table 8 Existing Conditions/Proposed Interventions
82 Figure 76 Master Plan The Master Plan shows the propos ed intervention. New pedestrian street and waterfront development become the modern element of the proposal.
83 Figure 77 Naked Plan Naked Plan shows the public realm. to the circle shows the two mile radius that is considered walking di stance, to reinforce the concept of a pedestrian district.
84 Figure 78 Site Program Proposed Program Uses. The mixtur e of different uses promotes diversity and change.
85 Figure 79 Exploded Axo
86 Figure 80 Aerial Massing Figure 81 Block Structure Block Structure showing the di versity of proposed uses.
87 Figure 82 Proposed Central Space Figure 83 San Pedro Street Elevation Figure 84 Luz Street Elevation Figure 85 Luz Street Elevation (End)
88 Figure 86 Street Section
89 Figure 87 Street Section-New Library Section cutting through proposed outd oor caf. The goal is to create pedestrian friendly spaces in the mi ddle of a narrow street and open up the space. Figure 88 Street Section-Park Section cutting through proposed outdoor caf across from the Neighborhood Park. The goal is to widen sidewalks and create a safe and friendly environment.
90 Renderings Figure 89 Street Rendering View down Luz Street. Existing resi dential street with a diversity of uses added to the ground floors to enhance the pedestrian traffic out to the waterfront edge.
91 Figure 90 View of the Park Figure 91 View of the Central Space
92 Figure 92 Modern Shopping Center Figure 93 New Aquatic Museum
93 Figure 94 New Marina
94 Model Pictures Figure 95 Massing Model
95 Figure 96 Design Proposal Model
96 Figure 97 Design Proposal Model
97 Figure 98 Model New Park/Outdoor Exhibition space and Shopping Center View Figure 99 Model New Marina and Park View
98 Figure 100 Model View of Revitalized Neighborhood Park. Figure 101 Model View of Luz Street
99 Figure 102 Model Central Space/Activity Node to generation movement on Cuba and Luz Street.
100 Chapter 8 Conclusion For Cuba to step into the 21st century, it must first confront the many challenges of its past and the implications for its future that presently exist within its societal va lue system. Many respect the need for revitalization and preservation of HavanaÂ’s oldest and most prestigious buildings. What will ha ppen to those buildings? Will they continue to fall down and prove a hazard to CubaÂ’s people? Will preservation mean further deterioration of public services and lack of housing? Still the question remains: what will be the impact of further foreign investment for the tourism indu stry? It is clear that in order for there to be change the outside world must come to Cuba, nourish Cuba and support it in its infancy to ward reform but at what detriment to its past? The Cuban society cannot evolve in a vacuum, that is clear; but there must be a way to serve all the interests of her people. Results will show in a unique urban fabric that recovers its image step by step, developing a new lif e for veritable treasures of old architecture and Â– most important of all Â– really improving the quality of life of a population that shares and exchanges its new experiences with all welcomed visitors to the Historic Center. The goal of my project was to cr eate a place that will attract not only tourists by also locals, part icularly from Old Havana, and allow them to experience their city in di fferent ways: not just as a tourist destination, but also a place to wo rk and recreate, and subsequently a desirable place to live. The long term goal is for Old Havana to become a safe environment with an urban re sident population reflective of
101 Cuban society, a place that is so cially and economically diverse. PeopleÂ’s apprehension about liv ing there due to the state and conditions of the buildings must be the first need to be addressed, if there is to be any chance of a su ccessful residential revitalization. In the short run, however, there need to be places that will attract a diverse public, places whic h will serve to reacquaint people, through the process of discovery, to the old city. The harbor shopping and entertainment district with its di verse uses and activities is a good vehicle to achieve this, and locating it at the waterfront increases the dynamism of both the residential district and the waterfront edge. In conclusion, this thesis has take n a deeper look into at modern urban design and existing site specif ic qualities to determine the most appropriate approach to urban revi talization and modernization of a section of Old Havana. It addresses the pedestrian by building facades and wider sidewalks. It also activate s the waterfront edge by creating a diversity of uses and activities for both the residents and visitors. The final result proposes an urban design that has an urban presence in both the neighborhood and the city. It has turned an underappreciated and underdeveloped part of the city into a livable and desirable place to live, work and visit.
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