Bazaar Urbanism

Project Description

Havana is defined by the critical density of its center: narrow streets limited by buildings hiding in their interiors patios and communal spaces. The project occupies an entire block and contains the morphological richness of the existing city with its alterations between dense volumes and empty spaces and the gradient from public to private, creating a new neighborhood for the city. In Havana, one could argue that life activity happens on the street, often times leaving interior patios in a state of neglect and decay. Rather than providing points of urban interaction within the city fabric, such spaces end up as empty voids.

Markets have historically been spaces of urban congestion, spaces that grow within the city fabric and provide central community nodes. Considering the empty voids within the city, the project attempts to re-think their function as centers of activity by inserting within them the informality of the market and bringing the urban street back into the housing block. Such spaces could then be considered small scale plazas within the larger city. What matters is of the things happening in the voids, leaving room for the unanticipated.