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Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti and Robert Gattardi

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AD Classics: The National Art Schools of Cuba / Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti, Roberto Gottardi

10:30 - 12 September, 2013
AD Classics: The National Art Schools of Cuba / Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti, Roberto Gottardi, School of Ballet by Vittorio Garatti . Image © Adrián Guerra Rey via places.designobserver.com
School of Ballet by Vittorio Garatti . Image © Adrián Guerra Rey via places.designobserver.com

“Cuba will count as having the most beautiful academy of arts in the world.” - Fidel Castro (1961)

The Cuban National Schools of Arts, originally imagined by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in 1961, are perhaps the largest architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution. The innovative design of the schools, which aimed to bring cultural literacy to the nation, encapsulated the radical, utopian vision of the Revolution. Unfortunately, the nation’s idealistic enthusiasm lasted for a fleeting moment in time and the Schools quickly fell out of favor; they were left to decay before even being completed. Today, following nearly four decades of neglect, the architects have returned to try and bring these derelict schools to back to their intended glory.

School of Ballet by Vittorio Garatti . Image © John Loomis: Revolution of Forms Site plan. Image © John Loomis: Revolution of Forms School of Modern Dance by Ricardo PorroSchool of Modern Dance by Ricardo Porro. Image © Adrián MALLOL i MORETTI School of Plastic Arts by Ricardo Porro. Image © Norma Barbacci/World Monuments Fund + 64