Happy Holidays from Harrison Design

2017 Place of Inspiration- Havana Cathedral

Catedral de la Habana

The architecturally and historically significant Catedral de la Habana anchors one of the main plazas and thoroughfares in the old city district and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The edifice is an example of 18th-century Cuban Baroque design, which references the architectural exuberance of 17th-century Italian and Spanish Baroque. Framed by two asymmetrical towers, the cathedral’s facade is less embellished than its European counterparts due to the fragility of the local stone. Nonetheless, animation comes from the convex and concave forms that create a dramatic play of light and shadow.

Conceived as a Jesuit church with a rectangular plan, construction began in 1748. After the expulsion of the Jesuits and the creation of the diocese of Havana, the structure was completed as a cathedral in 1787. Alejo Carpentier, the 20th-century Cuban writer and musicologist, described the coral limestone facade with its Tuscan elements as “music set in stone.” In contrast to the baroque undulations of the exterior, the interior is neoclassical and austere, the result of a renovation from 1946 to 1949.

Inspirited by the power of architecture to enrich social and community interaction, Harrison Design is pleased to add religious architecture to its portfolio.

Season’s greetings and best wishes for the new year!


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