Project of a Baptist Temple in Vertientes, Camaguey (2004)
Project of a Baptist Temple in Vertientes, Camaguey (2004)

When the modernist movement came to Cuba in the 1960s, functional and beautiful works began popping up all over the country, including the Cubanacan art schools, the Cuba Pavilion, and the Jose Antonio Echeverria University campus. But, suddenly, construction of these projects stopped, and the Ministry of Construction spoke out against the designs that went into these works. In 1966, architecture ceased to be a part of Cuban culture, and new architects are still trying to overcome this loss.

While this new generation of architects is trying to bring the art form back, the country has not been receptive. Despite award–winning projects, the Cuban media have devoted no space to the openings of architectural works, and few architectural exhibitions exist. The younger architects are also trying to focus more on environmental design, such as the renewal of Casablanca, but the country continues to support only the architecture of the colonial and republican eras.

Unfortunately, many graduating architects will have to continue fighting against a country that only speaks of past works, and knows little about new projects.

To read more about this trend in Cuban architecture, visit the Havana Times.

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