Architecture Design, Level II: Cuba Studio

Instructor(s): Prof. Jan Wampler
MIT Course Number: 4.196 / 4.132
As Taught In: Spring 2004
Level: Graduate
 

Course Description

This architectural studio will have one main project for the semester: to explore the issues surrounding the redesign of an area in Havana, Cuba. It is a typical area about the size of a Law of Indies block that presently has a mix of housing, work, and shopping, in buildings that need to be replaced and others that need to be rehabilitated. There is also vacant land, and buildings that are unused. Part of the blocks front on the Malecon, the street next to the water. The other edge fronts onto a typical neighborhood. The intention is to study the culture through an understanding of one area of Havana and then design an “echo” in architectural form. The design will include public space as well as a mix of buildings: some new, some rehabilitated.

SYLLABUS:

Course Introduction by Prof. Jan Wampler.

Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 4 hours / session

Designing the Architect

Throughout the semester, the work of the studio was documented in a short movie called “Designing the Architect.”

Building Communities

A Place in Havana, Cuba

The work for the semester is about the following issues:

  • how to understand and design for a different culture…
  • how to design places where living, working, and shopping can intermix…
  • how to design a village in the city…
  • how to design buildings that can intermix uses…
  • how to design in a tropical climate…

This architectural studio will have one main project for the semester: to explore the issues surrounding the redesign of an area in Havana, Cuba. It is a typical area about the size of a Law of Indies block that presently has a mix of housing, work, and shopping, in buildings that need to be replaced and others that need to be rehabilitated. There is also vacant land, and buildings that are unused. Part of the blocks front on the Malecon, the street next to the water. The other edge fronts onto a typical neighborhood. The intention is to study the culture through an understanding of one area of Havana and then design an “echo” in architectural form. The design will include public space as well as a mix of buildings: some new, some rehabilitated.

The work will start in Boston with lectures about Cuba, readings, background information about climate, site information and design attitudes about the program and form, before we go to Havana. We will then travel for a short but intense period to gather information about the culture through the understanding a small neighborhood. While in Cuba we will meet with students from the University who will also be designing this area. After coming back from Havana, designs that have attitudes about the “village in the city” will be explored.

Design will be from the scale of one unit to the scale of a building and an area. During the semester there will be feedback from architects that have worked in Cuba.

Other concerns for the semester:

  • understanding the space between buildings…
  • understanding the idea of “micro villages”…
  • understanding an attitude about architecture…

All of this will be followed by form making.

CALENDAR:

SES # TOPICS KEY DATES
Week 1
1 First Studio / Background Material / Lee Cott
2 Talk with Magda Fernadez / Discussion of Cuba / Interviews
Week 2
3 Assignment #1 due
4 Work/Crits/Interviews
5 Work/Crits/Interviews
Week 3
6 Assignment #2 due
7 Leave for Cuba / Overnight in Miami
Week 4
8 Arrive in Cuba
9-11 Cuba
12 Leave Cuba
13 Discussion of Trip
14 Assignment #3 due
Week 5
15-16 Work/Crits
17 Midterm Assignment #4 due
Week 6
18-20 Work/Crits
Week 7
21 Work/Crits
22 Midterm Review
23 Discussion of Midterm
Week 8
24-26 Work/Crits
Week 9
27 Assignment #5 due
28 Work/Crits, Sketch Problem
29 Work/Crits
Week 10
30 Assignment #6 due
31-32 Work/Crits
Week 11
33 Work/Crits
34 Assignment #7 due
Week 12
35 Work/Crits

Field Trip to Zimmerman House, FLW

36-37 Work/Crits
Week 13
38 Final Assignment due
39-40 Revision
Week 14
41 Revision
42 Final Review

ASSIGNEMENTS:

The semester is composed of a series of assignments, each of which is a revision and rethinking of the last. All the assignments for the semester are presented here.

SES # ASSIGNMENTS
3 Reading and Site (PDF)
6 Attitude, Concept, Space, and Object (PDF)
14 Working in Cuba (PDF)
17 The Large and the Small (PDF)
27 Developing a Chunk (PDF)
30 Elevation Montage and Section (PDF)
34 Putting it all Together (PDF)
38 Final Assignment (PDF)

PROJECTS:

Images of Student Work from the Semester

(Courtesy of Katice Helinski, Elliot Felix, and Nicole Vlado. Used with permission.)

IMAGE GALLERY:

Images from the Cuba Trip

All images are courtesy of Prof. Jan Wampler and used with permission.

DOWNLOAD COURSE MATERIAL:

Click –> DOWNLOAD

This package contains the same content as the online version of the course.

One response to “Architecture Design, Level II: Cuba Studio

  1. Pingback: Architecture Studio [all kind of courses] | Beauty Of Concrete·

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