The interior design is complemented by selected works of art by contemporary Cuban artists—mostly horizontal canvases that contribute to contextualizing and beautifying
This cosmopolitan city, temporarily detained, removed half a century from the globalized world, assumes an almost archaeological cultural role, whose domestic architecture and habitat entail a rich treasure: The Pompeii of the Caribbean that is being rescued from its past. Proof of this is the renovation of this 1950s modern house in Miramar, a residential district named for its relationship with the sea, an ideal location to live and enjoy at the same time.
Mestizo Havana—an eclectically baroque city bathed by the sea and the tropics, culturally influenced from beyond its shores for five centuries, a showcase of refined tastes, w styles and fashion trends, a pioneer in the “New World,” in the warm and bright Caribbean, identified by its Andalusian, Baroque, neoclassical palaces, mansions in a Florentine Renaissance style, donned in Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Beaux Arts—was a late recipient of rationalist modernity, a 20th-century transforming trend. But always extraordinary and Cuban.
Over time, tradition was enriched with newness combined with the experimental. Distinctiveness complemented diversity, architecture hosted content in line with its stylistic intention. The importation of furniture, luminaires, objects and works of art fostered and developed a transcendent local, assimilating and renovating creative practice, an evolution backed by a consistent national design.
In pursuit of comfort—in keeping with the social standing of wealthy families—the standards of the times were followed; classical taste, however, disputed the new, contending with the recent trends that were basically alien to the decorative.
This inherited and controversial diversity is manifested in the aesthetic treatment of this restoration work.
Its two spacious levels combine expressive extremes: one is distinctive of the rationalist design of its facades, with a flat roof and large eaves that provide shade, and wide bays with stained glass windows looking onto terraces facing north. The recreational esplanade that links it to the sea, whose center is the pool, opens onto an immense blue landscape.
The other floor, the indoor area, is surprising because of the contrast with the rational exterior, denoting a conservative repertoire adapted to the taste of its owner. The common areas and the bedrooms have been carefully furnished and designed. The master bedroom and the ensuite bathroom have preserved decorative plasterwork, woodwork and marble work, as well as Roman-inspired arches, all of which had been incorporated at some previous time and are now tempered with the rest of the building.
The chromatic treatment stands out in a warm, cozy manner: the white-ivory-cream tones on walls, ceilings, terrazzo floors and carpentry have been aptly harmonized with practically all of the furniture, upholstery and draperies. A remarkable allusion to its coastal environment is highlighted in the aqua upholstery for the living room furniture, comfortable appointments of a more neutral design. The classically reminiscent, sober and appropriately sized luminaires contribute a touch of novelty.
The interior design is complemented by selected works of art by contemporary Cuban artists—mostly horizontal canvases that contribute to contextualizing and beautifying.
The renovation of this house turns out to be a noble recycling, stylistically opposed yet coherent and faithful to the instinctive attachment to the eclectic, which is convincing and attractive here for its gracious conjugation and exquisite realization. ▪