On May 15, 2010, at The Cooper Union in New York City, The IX Annual Congress of the Cuban Cultural Center of NY presented Cuban Architecture: A Historical Legacy, in association with the Society of Cuban-American Engineers and Architects and co-sponsored by The Cooper Union, the Global Dialogues Committee of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects , the Architectural League and the Municipal Art Society.
The architectural symposium, entitled "Cuban Architecture: A Historical Legacy," drawed leading architects of Cuban architecture to explore the development of a Cuban architectural identity, its present conditions, trends and directions.
Organized by the Cuban Cultural Center of New York and the Society of Cuban-American Engineers and Architects with the sponsorship of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art , the Municipal Art Society, the Architectural League of New York, and the Global Dialogues Committee of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the event consists of two sessions of panel presentations and a round-table discussion. The first session focuses on the development of architecture and urbanism from colonization to the Revolution of 1959. The second session addresses the ideas and practices in Cuba since the Revolution, including the contributions of Cuban architects abroad. The round-table discussion will focus on emerging trends and future visions.Guest speakers Nicolás Quintana and Ricardo Porro delivered the keynote address and closing remarks, respectively.
The event consisted of two sessions of panel presentations. The first session focused on the development of architecture and urbanism from colonization to the Revolution of 1959. The second session addressed the ideas and practices in Cuba since the Revolution, including the contributions of Cuban architects abroad.The IX Congress was dedicated in memory of Cuban Architect Mario Romañach (1917-1984) professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts, well-known for his modern architecture in Havana. His daughter Maria Romanach delivered the Conference dedication.
Morning lectures encompassed the “The Colonial Period” by Narciso Menocal from the University of Wisconsin; "The Republican Period" by Architects Raul L. Rodriguez, AIA from Rodriguez and Quiroga Architecs Chartered and Carlos Alberto Fleitas from AECOM; and "The Modern Period" by Architectural Historian Eduardo Luis Rodriguez envited from Cuba, author of The Havana Guide.
Afternoon lectures concentrated on Revolution and Post-Revolution Construction and Deconstruction from 1959 to the present with architects Belmont Freeman, filmmaker Florian Borchmeyer - The New Art of Making Ruins, Architectural Conservator Hansel Hernandez Navarro, and Hervin Romney Founding partner of Arquitectonica.
There were historical films and audiovisuals throughout
8:00 // Registration / Continental breakfast
8:45 // Welcome.Manuel Castedo (Cuban Cultural Center of New York). Paúl Echániz (Society of Cuban-American Engineers and Architects).Anthony Vidler (The Cooper Union)
9:00 // Keynote Address.Nicolás Quintana: Historical Overview and Legacy of Cuban Architecture.
Presenter: Israel Seinuk (The Cooper Union)
9:40 // The Colonial Period and the Cuban Republic
Narciso Menocal (University of Wisconsin): The First Four Centuries: From Bohíos to New World Crossroads
Raúl L. Rodriguez (Rodríguez and Quiroga Architects Chartered) & Carlos Alberto Fleitas (AECOM): La Habana Republicana 1902 - 1940
Eduardo Luis Rodriguez (Author: The Havana Guide): The Architectural Boom of the 1950’s
Moderator: Rachel Carley (Author: Cuba: 400 Years of Architectural Heritage)
12:00–1:15 // Lunch Break
1:30 // Revolution and Post-Revolution
Belmont Freeman (Belmont Freeman Architects, NYC): Construction and Deconstruction in Revolutionary Cuba: From 1959 to the Present.
Florian Borchmeyer (Filmmaker, Raros Media): The Art of Making Ruins
Hansel Hernández Navarro (Architectural conservator): The Restoration Project.
Hervin Romney (Founding partner of Arquitectonica): The Architecture of Exile: Cuban Architecture Outside Cuba
Moderator: Manuel Pereiras (SCAEA).
4:00 // Art Exhibit (Co-sponsored by Cuba Art NY)
Merienda, books, DVDs and CDs
4:20 // A Special Tribute.Guest of Honor: Ricardo Porro.Presenter: Josef Asteínza.
5:00 // Cuban Architecture and Urbanism Full Cycle. A Colloquium on Present Trends and a Post-Revolutionary Future.(A round table by some of the most outstanding Cuban personalities in today’s architectural landscape, who will be touching on a variety of topics, including urban planning and development in a post-revolutionary resurgent economy)
Moderator: James S. Russell (Architecture Critic, Bloomberg News)
7:30 // Concert. Cuba’s Golden Era: Danzón, Bolero & Son with Chico Álvarez and his Band