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A Comprehensive Survey of Modernist Architecture in Cuba

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A richly illustrated and photographed new book on Cuban modernist architecture by Victor Deupi and Jean-Francois Lejeune, both professors at the University of Miami, is a comprehensive survey of an architectural era, which until now has remained largely hidden from view. For several decades on the cusp of the Cuban Revolution, both before and after the event, modern architecture thrived in Cuba.

Cuban Modernism: Mid-Century Architecture 1940-1970 documents this incredible and undiscovered period in architectural history. The designs included a wide range of buildings, from fabulous hotels to nightclubs and residential projects. The book also explores the dialogue between the modernist architecture of Cuba and that of Miami, particularly in the wake of the revolution when many Cuban architects came to the United States and began practicing here. As the book says, the Cuban architects were “drawing on the vernacular,” and “defining a way to be modern and Cuban at the same time–creating an architecture oscillating between avant-garde tradition.”

I was lucky enough to do the copyediting for this book. It was a great distraction during the beginning of the pandemic. Check out the Big Bubble’s coverage of recent book publications in the archives.

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