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Havana School of the Arts
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1957
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:20 pm    Post subject: Havana School of the Arts Reply with quote

Closest look I've had of this complex.
Read somewhere it was built in conscious opposition to the "capitalist international style."
https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorpatt/32302182881/in/photostream/
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5502
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strongly influenced by le Corbusier. I travelled to India last February and saw many similar buildings by Corbu and his disciples in Chandigargh...
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3128
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Architect Ricardo Porro's obituary, which gives some background for those unfamiliar with this work:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/30/arts/ricardo-porro-exiled-cuban-architect-dies-at-89.html?_r=0
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14141
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.citylab.com/politics/2012/10/revolutionary-architecture-how-cubas-national-arts-schools-were-disgraced-and-reclaimed/3603/

http://www.revolutionofforms.com/story.html

SDR
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 882
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Schools became a victim of the Bay of Pigs, after which all funding was transferred to the military for defense purposes.

Alicia Alonso paid one visit to the Dance School being built for her, but left, never to return with her Cuban Ballet. Apparently she was schooled in the era of classical designs.

Many of the buildings were flooded and in a state of ruin, until Fidel was finally convinced that the buildings were important, and worthy of saving.
Funding was reinstated for a time, but then dropped again, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Cuba was left to fend for itself, financially.

A book has been written about the Schools, and I believe there are several documentaries ... one of which was aired on PBS last year, if my memory serves.
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Craig



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 462
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peterm,

I've been fascinated by Chandigarh for many years but have never been there. I'd love to hear more about your impressions. There's something about such built modernist planned cities (Chandigarh, Brasilia, Asmara) that intrigue me.
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5502
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We left the chaos, smog and extreme wealth inequality of Dehli and made the drive north to the foothills of the Himalayas. Our German friend drove, white knuckling it the entire way. This was beyond anything I have ever experienced. Donkeys, sacred cows, carriages, motorcycles and trucks with entire families hanging off the sides, people walking, selling wares, cars and trucks driving the wrong way against traffic, four lanes marked, but seven to eight lanes of traffic, constant honking, not out of anger, but to simply notify intentions.

We arrived in Chandigarh to what seemed like a well designed suburban environment. The air was much better, the beautifully landscaped roads featured roundabouts, and traffic moved more freely. The town is divided into sectors, each with its own government buildings, schools, shopping areas, higher density apartments and single family residences. There are no high rise buildings. Corbu wanted people to be able to see the mountains. (Of course now, though the air is better than in some areas, the smog was such that we never actually saw the Himalayas). The larger, iconic, monumental, brutalist public buildings are mostly poured concrete, with portions painted in the primaries and his signature 40s and 50s forest green color. The overall effect is futuristic. I was actually surprised how pleasant it all seemed; I had read that it was cold and sterile, but it seemed more like utopian science fiction to me, (dystopian depending on how well maintained the building was). I suppose the argument could be made that it is too designed, too planned, but after the absolute frantic chaos and squalor of Delhi, it was a welcome relief. Everyone in India told us that Chandigarh is one of the most livable areas with a real middle class in all of India, and from what we experienced, that seemed realistic.
The three days we spent there were lovely, and I could definitely imagine visiting again.

The Open Hand is a wondrous thing to behold. I had no idea that it was designed to spin depending on how the weather and wind hit it.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a0/Open_Hand_Monument_in_Chandigarh.jpg/220px-Open_Hand_Monument_in_Chandigarh.jpg

The High Court:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/withinandwithout/galleries/72157626974353993/

http://www.road2travel.in/tag/geometric-hill/


I realize there are many here who dismiss the work of le Corbusier. I would recommend they visit this place; it might change their minds. In the same way that I like Wright's later work, the later Corbu is poetic, otherworldly, and honestly, just strange in a way that works for me, and is unlike most North American architecture. (The influence of Corbu is felt more in Mexico, Central America and South America than anywhere in the US and Europe with the exception of Switzerland and France)
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14141
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the Tower of Shadows Corbu? What a surprise . . .

SDR
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5502
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's le Corbusier. His idea was to create a completely open sided building allowing and encouraging breezes to flow through the space while blocking sunlight at all times of the day. It works...
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1957
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never having been to Chandigarh, judging only by plans and photos, the mistakes are basically two.
First, the distances are too great, to sense the unity of the composition, it falls apart.
Second, if you disagree with that then at least the paving of those distances in concrete is a mistake ... should've been planted.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom, I agree. The exact same criticism goes for Brasilia.

In addition, Brasilia was built on the cheap and in a natural environment too delicate to accommodate a concrete city of such size. The Amazon is being brutalized by ranching, mining, oil and now construction of 50 dams.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

50 dams!?
Gheeze.
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Roderick Grant



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Amazon natives are complaining vociferously, but you know who wins fights like that. They haven't a chance.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1957
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's still posting new photos of the school to this thread.
Really cool
https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorpatt/32328137552/in/feed
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 882
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Forms-Cubas-Forgotten-Schools/dp/1568981570

https://www.fandor.com/films/unfinished_spaces
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