UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

12/10/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/10/2019 08:12

Heritage4Cuba supports Cuba to enhance the architectural and cultural heritage of Havana

This year Havana, the capital city of the island Cuba and its economic and cultural centre, is celebrating this year in Havana. 16 November marks the 500th anniversaryof its foundationunder the name of Villa de San Cristóbal de La Habana.Havana is one of the oldest cities in what the settlers called the New World: a history that is evident in its people, in its colourful architecture, in its avenues and stately buildings.

Within the framework of this anniversary, Heritage4Cuba aims to enhance the historical and architectural heritage of Havana and to raise awareness of the urban redevelopment of historic buildings in the island. Heritage4Cuba is promoted by UNIDO ITPO Italy, in collaboration with the Historian's Office of Havana City and the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy and the private sector, to enhance the architectural and cultural heritage of Havana.

Organised in cooperation with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Triennale Milano, the Biennal of Havana 2019, the University of Trieste, the University of Udine and Rizzani De Eccher Spa, the Heritage4Cuba#BestDesignAward fosters institutional and entrepreneurial cooperation in restoration and urban-architecture development with the goal to redesign new areas for the cultural & creative industry and promote inclusive and sustainable growth of Cuba.

In July, Cuban architects, designers and civil engineers were called to come up with the best innovative ideas, for the best architectural reuse projects of 3 historic buildings of Havana to be rewarded. How does design shape or transform historical building and how does it structure and transform our individual lives and society as a whole?'Key theme of the award was: urban sustainability as a strategic asset addressing the economic and social development of territories.

'With the intention of redesigning new areas for the cultural & creative industry,the ultimate goal of the project is to raise awareness of the historical and architectural heritage of the City of Havana and to attract foreign investments for the urban redevelopment of the historic buildings of the island.', saysVilma Rodríguez Tápanes, Specialist of the Cuban National Council of Cultural Heritage, Professor of Architecture at the Technological University of Havana and Chair at the Havana's Monuments Commission

The project targets to strengthen the process of conservation, enhancement and dissemination of the cultural heritage of Cuba through increasing the collaboration between public institutions, non-state actors and local communities. Through the architectural recovery of the historical heritage of Havana, the challenge is to redesign existing buildings to promote creativity as an economic and social drive of the sustainable development. Participants were invited to consider how design can empower Cuban heritage through the reuse 'spaces' for the cultural and creative industry.

'Heritage4Cuba advocates for the role of Cultural Heritage in the creative industries, saying that 'creative industries are also often associated with a 'new economy', driven by 'digital' technologies and closely related to the 'information' or 'knowledge' economy.', underlines Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe and jury member.'The services and products - tangible and intangible - are often a drive for sustainable development and have a strong social impact for the communities.'

The awarded categories were 3: 'Women', 'Young under 35' and 'overall category'. Particular consideration was given to projects with innovative component related to conservation, reuse and valorisation of the historical buildings of Havana and to the urban and territorial context. All participants were awarded a certificate and the 3 best projects a grant.

Winnersfor the building: Old Housing San Ignacio are Alberto Montero Graniela Architect, group leader, in group with: Luis Angelo Montano Rosabal, architect and for the building: Hospice of San Isidro: Eddy Ramos Miranda, architecture student, group leader; in group with: Jasiel Lopez Martinez, architecture student and Manuel Gonzalez Navea, architecture student; Vanessa Lugo Pérez, achitect, group leader in group with: Ernesto Antonio Miralles, engineer; and, Laura Rodrìguez Santa Cruz Pacheco, architect, group leader.

Focused on the cultural heritage and creative industries, the winners will now benefit from a 4-week programme in the Region Friuli Venezia Giulia and participate to lectures and workshops delivered by the University of Udine and Trieste, Rizzani De Eccher Spa and restoration centres with the aim to enhance the bilateral cooperation.

The award ceremony will take place on 17 December 2019 in Trieste, Italy.