Havana, the Part and the Whole.
The project is an attempt to understand the story of Havana through the form of the city. An atlas of behaviours is developed as the city is read across multiple scales, one effect resonating into the other. Through the multiplicity of these readings a housing block is used as a construct to explain the story of the city as folded within it's own architecture.

The Facade

"A building is like a soap bubble. The bubble is perfect and harmonious if the breath has been evenly distributed from the inside. The exterior is the result of an interior." -Le Corbusier
In Havana, Le Corbusier's Soap Bubble has exploded. The facade manifests in surface the effects of inner pressure on the house due to lack of domestic space. Formally this is interpreted as a common language which has a common meter, and which nests within it a second local language.

The Portico

Historically, the Portico functions together with the street to serve an important cultural role. An architectural import is localised. When 'independent' characteristics are born of internal conditions the provide the specific formal condition in which to read the architecture of the city as reflecting it's social values.

The Corridor

The Corridor organizes the house is a sequence of Spatial Relationships. Historically, it is born of the typological development of the Cuban House from agricultural Bohio to fragments of the Urban Palace. The House is defined by it's relationship to the street, shallow in back facing houses, deep in front facing ones. When these series of deep and shallow are combines, they form the eclecticism of the urban block.

The Room

The Room functions together with the Screen in it's ability to mediate between spaces. In the contemporary context of Cuba, programs are forever shifting. It is this small scale element which enables the slippage of program across the spaces of the house, acting on that level, but representing the city as a whole.

The Part and The Whole

A part of the housing block contains within it all of the behaviours and hierarchies which constitute the whole. The city is read across multiple Scales. The story of Havana is Unfolded within it's own architecture.

The Housing Block

Constructor of the City
Havana's houses are the material of the city. The city is defined by a Common Language in which endless variations and anomalies are found. This process repeats itself over time and across scale, allowing for the part to encapsulate the complexity if the Whole.

A City of 2 Axis

A reciprocal relationship is understood between the underlying form of the city to broader contexts. The city is decomposed into Axis of Street and House (Perpendicular). Discontinuity in the street signifies social break-up. Shifts in the depth of the house define openness to the public.

Spatial Sequences

Through historical development the Havana house is revealed as a hierarchy of spaces. Phenomenoloically, the city is experienced as such - an endless sequence of spaces. Conceptually the fabric of Havana is a city of sequences, in which multiple scales are folded one into the other.

Unfolded Spaces

When by representation we begin to unfold the spaces of the house, examining the minimum volume which still encapsulates the existing conditions, we create an active reading. A minimal representation of the fabric of the city.


Reading through the layers of Havana.