contemporary art center in havana's 19-century building by infraestudio

contemporary art center in havana's 19-century building by infraestudio

cuban infraestudio was commissioned to rethink the structure of one of the first houses in the neighborhood of el vedado in havana, cuba, which dates back to 1888 and which carried the 1st degree of protection of monuments. almost untouched since its creation, it contained 1600 square meters of property and 600 square meters built distributed in the house and garage, however it needed 200 square meters of additional program — an art center — that seemed impossible to place in a house that seems complete.

the new restaurant will keep the original walls



the strategy of infraestudio’s intervention in the landscape, instead of producing architectural objects, uses and amplifies what existed before the architecture. the architects have redefined the boundaries of the lot by creating a new courtyard in a building that would become a new exterior wall.

the new façade will be covered by vegetation



the team has divided the program into three public parts, which contain the exhibition spaces, the library, the offices, the bathrooms, and the restaurant, while in the new hidden volume are placed in the warehouses and technical areas and three study rooms for a residential program. as a result, the only object in the patio is a gallery with a wooden roof that expands the activities to the outside.

view of the entrance to the new building

all the interventions to the interior were done to conserve the existing structure

the new building is perceived as a background, leaving the prominence of ‘the figure’ to the original

the collage shows the intention of redefining the boundaries of the lot

the only action on the patio is a new gallery covered with wood that connects the new building with the restaurant, which is where the garage used to be

inside the rooms everything will be in concrete and steel, capturing light through small perforations in the southwest façade and glass windows in the northwest

the roof of the old building will be available for big events

the house was built in 1882 in what was a famous residential area that today is the heart of the city


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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