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Architectural Havana
with Nick Merrick
March 11 - March 19, 2014

This workshop has already begun or is a past workshop.


I find Cuba’s past to be fascinating, and its architecture is truly impressive.  Pat Postma, past Cuba Program participant

Havana, a city of infinite wealth in colonial times and one of the most beautiful and architecturally diverse cities in the world, is now a deteriorating paradise looking for a new future. Since Old Havana was made a World UNESCO heritage site in 1982 dozens of its architectural gems have been restored. The City Historian's Department of Architecture has taken the lead in restoring and reconstructing the historic center, but preserving the beauty of the past is challenged by both budgetary constraints and the tropical salt air. Exploring architectural Havana and meeting the people who are protecting it is the purpose of this journey to the Pearl of the Antilles.

Led by architectural photographer Nick Merrick, this unique cultural exchange examines Havana’s architecture as it mirrors the rich social and political history of the island and its people. Interactions with Cuban architects, urban planners, historians, preservationists, and architectural photographers foster conversations and offers direct people-to-people contact that provides a deeper understanding of the architectural heritage of the United States and Cuba.

From the graceful colonial and baroque period through neo-classical, art nouveau, art deco, and pragmatic Soviet structures, Havana offers a rich tapestry of architectural styles. Photographic locations for this educational program include the elaborately ornamented, French-influenced, Bacardí Building; the high-society, crumbling mansions of leafy Vedado; the architecturally divergent schools of art at Instituto Superior de Arte; and Parque Central’s Gran Teatro and Capitolio Nacional.

To offer you unparalleled access to the architecture and culture of Cuba, two English-speaking Cuban photographers who live in Havana serve as our local hosts and translators. In alliance with Cuba’s premier photographic organization, Fototeca de Cuba, and its director, Nelson Ramírez, our unique program allows U.S. participants to learn about Cuba's long and colorful history and engage directly with Cubans involved in the preservation of architectural Havana.

In addition to visiting and interacting with Cubans at the historic sites and cultural centers of Old Havana, the group ventures to the nearby neighborhoods to discover the authentic Cuba that lies beneath the tourist veil. The tree-lined suburban neighborhood of Vedado provides a diversity of architecture and living conditions, giving us a richer understanding the Cuban people and their urban lifestyle. A day-long excursion outside Havana allows a close view of the island’s beautiful countryside and offers the rare opportunity to discover rural Cuba.

With Cuba at this turning point in its history, this is a once-in-a-lifetime journey. Join Nick and our experienced staff in Cuba for this opportunity to deepen your appreciation and understanding of this forbidden country before it changes forever.

True to the requirements of a people-to-people license with U.S. Treasury Department, Architectural Havana focuses on educational exchanges with the Cuban people and recording their important buildings with our cameras. There will not be structured photo instruction nor group critiques.

$3,995 per person. Package includes: double occupancy for 7 nights in Havana (Hotel Parque Central); single supplement add $600; breakfast daily plus two group meals; airport transfers and ground transportation in Cuba; and all required visas and licenses. Hotel expenses in Miami and airfare to Miami and Havana not included; round-trip charter airfare between Miami and Havana is approximately $500.

Nick Merrick: Nick Merrick, partner, principal, and senior photographer with the architectural photography firm Hedrich Blessing, is recogn...

© Tony Bonanno
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