(Nov. 10, 2011) -- Cuban architect, urban designer and critic Mario Coyula will speak on "The Many Centers of Havana," at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 16 in the Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (1.328) on the UTSA Main Campus. The talk is free and open to the public.
As the third speaker in the UTSA College of Architecture Fall Lecture Series, Coyula will challenge the conventional wisdom of Havana as a monocentric city, examining it instead as a polycentric structure created around a system of squares rather than a single main square.
A noted authority on the history and preservation of Havana, Coyula has been directly involved in issues of urban planning, government and design in the capital city for many years. Presently, he is a visiting scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.
In his second stint as a Harvard visiting professor, Coyula was a Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor from 2002 to 2003 at the Graduate School of Design. Currently, Coyula is researching old master plans of Havana contained in Harvard's archives. Access to the plans previously not accessible to Coyula will heighten his scholarly work regarding the intentions of the master planners and the decisions they made concerning Havana.
Though Havana's unique political history has stunted infrastructure growth, it also helped to create the unique, vibrant metropolis with incredible neighborhoods and buildings dating to the 16th century. Coyula will discuss how newer centers began to appear west of the original center by the bay and how they survived with divergent inhabitants.
The traditional centers have suffered from the loss of function, disinvestment, disrepair and partial marginalization as many stores were closed or changed into makeshift dwellings to shelter homeless people. At the same time, vacant mansions in formerly upscale neighborhoods were abandoned by wealthy residents and turned into stores, dwellings and hotbeds of activity for the poor and lower middle class.
A man of college age during the Revolution -- he was 24 years old in 1959 -- Coyula was an active participant in the affairs of his time. One of his most significant commissions is "Panteón del 13 de Marzo," a memorial installation in the Colón Cemetery that is dedicated to the revolutionaries, his peers, killed in the attack on the Presidential Palace on March 13, 1957.
In addition to being the 2001 recipient of the National Prize of Architecture, he is the former director of the Ciudad Universitaria José Antonio Echeverría School of Architecture and the Architecture and Urban Planning Department of Havana, as well as the Group for the Integral Development in Havana. Coyula is the co-author of "Havana: Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis" with Roberto Segre and Joseph L. Scarpaci.
"Mario's research on urban planning and 20th-century development in Havana is highly significant because he has lived and practiced there for his entire career, and there is no more notable or highly regarded Cuban author publishing on this topic," said William Dupont, UTSA San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professor and director of the Center for Cultural Sustainability. "Mario's depth of professional experience, coupled with his straightforward explanations, provides an excellent history of Havana's growth and change, also offering keen insight into the current urban situations in all parts of the city."
For more information, email Nicole Chavez.
The UTSA community is invited to the Community Networking events hosted by the Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion during Roadrunner Days. Various opportunities will be available that will focus on our diverse population.
H-E-B University Center Ballrooms (HUC 1.104 and HUC 1.106), Main Campus
Start in the Paseo then branch out around campus so you know where to go on the first day of classes.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
This event offers a preview of the UC’s programs and services that students can enjoy throughout the year. There will be food and giveaways too.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
There will be a special UCinema showing following Kickback at the UC at 9pm in Retama Auditorium (located on the 2nd floor of UC North).
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The Honors College welcomes all new freshmen to UTSA. Join them for breakfast and meet Honors College administrators, staff, and connect with other new Honors students.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
Convocation is UTSA’s ceremony to launch the new academic year. Attendance is mandatory for all incoming freshmen because it marks the first step students will take in their higher education journey of discovery. It is also highly recommended for transfer students as they continue their higher education journey at UTSA and become members of the Roadrunner Family.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Visit your College to explore your major before the first day of classes.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
Successful first-year students at UTSA are those who learn how to utilize resources, recognize and resolve problems, and prepare themselves to take advantage of their time on campus. The Student Success Series promotes this achievement by offering workshops on the common concerns and questions first-year students have during their transition to university life.
University Center Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.