Bazaar Urbanism

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 alternations between dense volumes and empty spaces, and the gradient from public to private, creating a new neighbourhood for the city. In Havana, one could argue that life activity happens on the street, often times leaving interior patios in a state of decay and neglect. 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 urban fabric and provide central community nodes for the city. Considering the empty voids within the city, the project attempts to re-thing the void as a center of activity by inserting within it the informality of the market and bringing the urban street back into the housing block. By inhabiting these voids, the city can profit from emptiness.

Program: Residential, Commercial, Public Space
Size: Large
Year: 2013
Status: Unbuilt
Location: Havana, Cuba

Design Team: Xristina Argyros, Ryan Neiheiser