Advanced Design Studio: Cure/Penabad

Project Description

My proposal is to merge urban agriculture with typical courtyard-centric Cuban housing, creating a live/work model in which people grow food in communal courtyards for consumption or sale.

Cuba has a complex history with food, including years of starvation due to a dormant agricultural industry. In recent years, Cubans have begun to grow produce outside of Havana; however, the system for transporting the food into the city remains undeveloped. My project enables people in central Havana to eat fresh vegetables grown on-site.

I took the existing model of the Cuban courtyard, stacking and dividing it to create areas with different amounts of sunshine for crops and shade for socializing. Into the courtyards I introduced organoponicos, low concrete planters serviced by drip irrigation, in which the residents will grow comestibles. Apartments with cross ventilation and natural light overlook these green spaces; in some units, their kitchens open directly onto the courtyards for communal dining. The ground floor has restaurants and stores in which to cook or sell the extra produce. Finally, a patterned brise soleil on the building shades inhabitants, acts as a trellis for climbing plants, and presents a festive facade to bustling Galiano Street.