Great Houses of Havana celebrates one hundred years of creativity, design, and style that made the city "the Paris of the Caribbean." For four hundred years, Havana was the center of Spanish trade in the western hemisphere. With the expansion of the sugar industry, independence from Spain, and North American investment, Havana became a city of great wealth, great style, and great houses in a vocabulary that was a unique amalgam of European, American, and Caribbean elements.
Great Houses of Havana traces the evolution of the Cuban home from the classic, Spanish colonial courtyard house to the “Tropical Modernist” villas of the 1950s—houses reflecting international architecture trends while remaining true to the Cuban tradition.
Cuba’s social history is woven throughout the book. Vintage photographs illustrate Havana’s sophisticated lifestyle—the masked balls, yacht club picnics, and dynastic weddings of fashionable Cubans and their international guests. Popular cafes, hotels, theaters, and weekend resorts are also featured, creating a view of the privileged life inside the gated mansions of the city’s grandest neighborhoods.
About the Author
Andres Duany, FAIA, CNU, is a founding principal of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ). DPZ is a leader of the New Urbanism, an international movement that seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. Since 1980, DPZ has designed more than 300 new towns, regional plans, and community revitalization projects. Duany is cofounder of the Congress for New Urbanism and the recipient of several honorary doctorates and awards, including the National Building Museum's Vincent J. Scully Prize and the Richard H. Driehaus Prize.
Jeff Speck AICP, CNU, LEED-AP, Hon. ASLA, spent 10 years as director of town planning at DPZ, where he led or managed more than 40 of the firm's projects. Subsequent to the publication of "Suburban Nation, " he was appointed director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he created the Governors' Institute on Community Design, a program that brings smart growth techniques to state leadership. After four years at the Endowment, he founded Speck & Associates, a design consultancy serving public officials and the real estate industry. He is a contributing editor to Metropolis magazine.
Mike Lydon CNU, is an urban planner, writer, and livable streets activist. Before founding The Street Plans Collaborative, an urban planning firm specializing in alternative transportation and the public realm, he worked for DPZ, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, and Smart Growth Vermont. He is currently a Next American City Urban Vanguard and serves as a board member for the Miami Bicycle Coalition.
"Its glossy pages pay tribute to the island nation’s glamorous mansions and elaborate interiors . . . The result of two years of research and multiple on-site explorations, Mallea’s work brings to light exquisite Beaux Arts palaces, modernist mansions, and even a spectacular beach house (now used as a restaurant)." —Architectural Digest
"Hermes Mallea’s Great Houses of Havana is one of several books on that city to appear this season, but it may be the most personal. . . . For Mallea, a Cuban-American architect who is based in New York, the book grew out of a longstanding fascination with his family’s history.What you will see is a selective survey of elegant Havana houses, from the traditional Spanish Colonial courtyard house of the 19th century to the Modernist-influenced houses of the 1950s." —The New York Times Style Magazine
"With photographs archival and new, the book documents the astonishing ways in which the prevailing styles of the day were adapted to the island's distintive climate and culture. Here, originality ruled." —Veranda
"Documents the evolution of Cuban design through a fantastic mix of contemporary and historical images." —New York Magazine