INTBAU Cuba and INTBAU Scandinavia in partnership with C.E.U. Norway and C.E.U. Cuba invite you to the 2012 Havana Urban Design Charrette.
The 2012 International Charrette will build on our work from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. International architects and planners are invited to join Cuban experts and local communities for a one-week charrette 19 – 25 February 2012 to develop proposals for the regeneration and development of the waterfront area of Centro Havana.
The charrette will fit both educational and professional purposes and will give participants an introduction to the history of Havana’s cultural heritage through close contact with its traditions, architecture and urbanism. The charrette seeks the participation of individuals who share a respectful attitude to new interventions in historical contexts, and who value the creation of places humans can live in, work in and enjoy.
· Elaborate ideas for the development of the waterfront sectors of the district of Centro Habana.
Who is it for?
The charrette is designed for architects, planners, art historians, antiquarians, writers, students and anyone with an interest in the history, traditions and culture of Cuba. The full charrette programme and a description of the Centro Habana area are included at the bottom of this page.
Participants are responsible for their own travel to Cuba, accommodation and meals. We can assist with arranging accommodation for you, either in private apartments (Casa Particular) or in an international style hotel.
Our previous charrettes have brought together participants from Cuba, UK, US, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Argentina, Mexico and other countries.
You can read reports on past charrettes online on John Pilling’s website:
Summary report of the 2011 Centro charrette
Full report from the 2010 charrette: http://www.johnpilling.net/2010_havana_urban_design_charrette/summary.html
Cuban Art News article about the 2011 charrette: http://www.cubanartnews.org/can/post/charrette_2011_envisioning_the_future_of_havana/
Cuban Art News interview with Julio Cesar Perez:
What Is a Charrette?
A charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens, designers and others collaborate on a vision for development. It provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the designers. More importantly, it allows everyone who participates to be a mutual author of the plan.
Registration & Costs
The registration fee for international participants is 300 CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso), approx. 240 EUR, GBP £200, or USD $330. This fee goes exclusively to cover expenses during the charrette, such as studio equipment, transportation costs for Cuban participants, and renting the venue.
For informatioin and registration, please contact Audun Engh on firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants are asked to arrange their own travel to Havana. Airlines with connections from Europe include Air France, British Airways, Iberia, and Virgin Atlantic (from London). There are also flights to Havana from the US (Miami, New York), Canada, Mexico and other Latin American countries.
Some ATMs can be found, but they are rare compared to other countries. No cards issued by US banks will work in Cuba. It is recommended to bring cash for the trip. Euros, UK Pounds and Dollars are accepted in any currency exchange shop. US Dollars will be subject to a 10% tax when exchanged.
You will need a visa to visit Cuba. Please contact your local Cuban embassy. A tourist visa will be the simplest to obtain. New regulations require you to submit the name of the hotel or the address and registration number of the Casa Particular when applying for a visa. We will provide you with this information with sufficient time if you prefer Casa Particular accomodation.
We can on request arrange Casa Particular (rooms in private houses and apartments) accommodation in the Vedado district for 50 CUC, Cuban Convertible Peso per night (approx, 55 $, 35 Euro, 30 £). This price is per room, single or double occupancy. Most of our participants at the previous charrettes chose this option, although some preferred to arrange for their own accommodation. We can make some suggestions if you prefer hotel accommodation.
Tour of Cuba, 26 February – 3 March 2011
The following week, we will arrange a one-week tour of Havana. You are welcome to register for one of the events, or both. For a detailed programme and more information on the 13-19 March tour please go the 2011 Cuba tour page: http://doityourself.no/intbau/?p=311
Facebook Event page for the Study Tour : Search “Havana Tour 26 February – 3 March 2012: Architecture, Urbanism, Culture”, or use this link. http://www.facebook.com/events/291581550879257/
We have had US participants for the previous tours and workshops. Due to the US trade embargo, US citizens will have to travel under either a general or a specific license. For further information, please go to the website of the United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control.
You may email us or contact one of the travel agencies listed below for additional information on licences.
· Common Ground Education & Travel Services – www.commongroundtravel.com
· Marazul – www.marazul.com
A previous US participant (Michael Mehaffy) wrote:
– “Have a look at this document, and refer to the bottom of page 10.
You will need to make your own specific determination, but in my case I went under a “general license,” no pre-application required, under the provisions of an international professional meeting in my professional area. I brought with me: a letter of invitation from the Scandinavian organizers; a print of this OFAC document with relevant sections highlighted; my CV; and my itinerary, making it clear this was a professional and international event. I had no problems whatsoever, and I am not aware that anyone else from these events has either.
The intent of the license is to avoid penalizing American professionals who might otherwise benefit from an international professional event in Cuba”.
The charrette is organised by INTBAU Cuba and INTBAU Scandinavia, in partnership with the Cuban and Norwegian chapters of the Council for European Urbanism. We have organised similar events in several countries, including Norway, Germany, the UK, Romania and Italy. In September 2008 C.E.U. Norway organised the Third International C.E.U. Congress – Climate Change and Urban Design – in Oslo, Norway.
Professor Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez
Julio Cesar Perez is responsible for the academic and professional programme in Havana and the Cuban participation. e was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design 2001-2002 and adjunct professor at the School of Architecture in Havana (1998-2006), and has lectured widely in the US, Canada and Europe about Cuban architecture. He is a member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba and the recipient of several international and national awards. His writings have been published in the New York Times, Arquitectura Cuba and Arquitectura y Urbanismo.
Pérez Hernández is the author of a major new book on Cuban architecture and culture, Inside Cuba, published by Taschen. He is the president of the Cuban chapters of INTBAU and C.E.U. and the author of A Masterplan for 21st century Havana.
John H. Pilling
John H. Pilling, AIA has been an instructor at the Boston Architectural College since 1993. His studies, which focus on cities of Mexico and the Caribbean, have been done with the friendship of the Faculties of Architecture at CUJAE in Havana and campuses of Tec. de Monterrey (ITESM) in Guadalajara and Mexico City. He has traveled regularly to Cuba since 2001 to do research on its architecture and urban design. In addition to his academic work he practises full time in metropolitan Boston.
Oslo, Norway. Education in law. Project manager for conferences, workshops and charrettes held in several countries, including the Climate Change and Urban Design conference in Oslo, 2008, and INTBAU Scandinavia workshops in Transylvania, Romania. Member of the INTBAU College of Chapters, representing INTBAU Scandinavia. Board member of CEU – Council for European Urbanism.
Participating Cuban Experts
· Professor Architect and Urban Planner Julio César Pérez, UNEAC, CEU, INTBAU.
Cuban Supporting Organizations
· Office of the Historian of the City of Havana
6th Havana Waterfront Charrette Program. February 19th – 25th, 2012
Day 2 MONDAY, 20 February
Day 3 TUESDAY, 21 February
2.30- 5.30 pm Afternoon session. Studio work at the venue.
Day 4 WEDNESDAY, 22 February
Day 5 THURSDAY, 23 February
7.00 -9-30 pm Reception at the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence in Havana
Day 6 FRIDAY, 24 February
Day 7 SATURDAY, 25 February
The 2012 Charrette Site, Centro Habana:
Centro Habana was the first suburb of Havana and its origins date back from the early 1700s. The increase of the agricultural activity in the rural territories off the walls for granting the Spanish Fleet the necessary supplies and the expanding shipbuilding industry contributed to the birth of the first settlements. A small church devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1716 would define the so considered first neighbourhood (at Monte and Aguila streets) while the relocation of the Real Arsenal in 1734 to the South by the Atares area and the lay out of the Alameda de Extramuros (Off the Walls Promenade) by the Marquis de la Torre around 1772 also contributed to the expansion of the city. The first cemetery of Havana was built in 1804 – the Espada Cemetery, named after Bishop Espada, while the first hospital outside the walls was built in 1714 (San Lazaro hospital).
The Alameda de Extramuros established a significant urban axis and expressed an early assimilation of the new European trends about the appreciation and enjoyment of Nature in the cities. In 1817 a regulating plan – Plan de Ensanche, the first of its kind in Havana executed by a qualified group of engineers led by Colonel Engineer Antonio Maria de la Torre y Cardenas based on a grid – guided the expansion of the city beyond the walls in an orderly manner by using the existing layout of the roads that connected the walled city with the countryside. The plan established a hierarchy of streets where the main arteries called ‘calzadas’ would become the most distinctive feature of Havana’s new streetscape and stood in clear contrast with the character of Old Havana. The so called ‘calzadas’ turned into commercial axes later sheltered with Neoclassical porticoes and arcades that signalled the porches as Havana’s trademark. The famous Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier called Havana the City of Columns. This urban pattern can easily be recognized nowadays where the ‘calzadas’ play a role as linear axes that not only define different neighbourhoods but provide a variety of mixed uses.
Centro Habana is the most diverse district of Havana, the most densely populated and the most dilapidated one. Due to construction speculation during the first decades of the 20th century and neglect of almost half a century the district is currently decaying and many buildings have collapsed.
Centro Habana is located to the North and the center of Havana so that The Straits of Florida is the natural limit and The Malecon its physical border to the North while El Cerro district – also named after another ‘calzada’ – is the South border. Old Havana is to the East and El Vedado district is to the West.
For the Master Plan purpose –and also for the Charrette’s – the Centro Habana waterfront sector is defined by the presence of both colonial fortresses, La Punta (1589 -1600)and The Morro Castle (1589 -1630), the Paseo del Prado and the Torreon de San Lazaro (1665). This sector is quite different in character from the harbor and from East Havana in terms of environmental issues, urban landscape, heritage presence, urban and architectural typologies, urban design and architecture.
The challenges are many and huge but the most important one will be the integration of this territory as proposed in the Master Plan following its guidelines and design – urban, landscape and architectural – codes so that the whole waterfront is developed according to both its vocation and its potential to give Havana a new facade related to the sea, that orients new urban development to the sea and creates an urban realm according and a sustainable environment. Another major challenge will consist in the integration of this area with the rest of Havana in both physical and cultural terms so that it gives continuity to the tradition of excellence of Havana’s urbanism and architecture.
Due to the lack of open space and high density the current population of about 154, 000 is considered to live in extreme environmental conditions with 1.5 Centigrade degree above the average of the city. Green scarcity also contributes to the heat increase even though the breeze coming from the sea seems to occasionally alleviate the situation.
Further Information and Registration
Julio Cesar Perez