THE OFFICE OF THE CITY HISTORIAN
Location: Havana, Cuba (in-between Old Havana and Centro Havana)
Program: Office (and much more)
Only one institution is able to effectively cross the contrasting modes of communism and capitalism in current day Havana.
The Office of the City Historian is a mega-corporation that has remade Old Havana into a capitalist microcosm for tourism. It purposely excludes the institutions of communist Centro Havana (although it should represent the whole city) because they are seen as uncontrollable and possible instigators of confrontation to the Historian’s purpose.
The objective of the project is to integrate and equalize the civil society of the Communist City and the cultural and tourist institutions of the Capitalist one through the vehicle of the Office of the City Historian. These programs cross their native city border and migrate towards the city in which they are absent. Travelling through symbolic borders, they change programmatically and formally creating mutations of their pure systems.
The project takes form as the headquarters of Offices of the City Historian of Havana, a place that maximizes the creation of confrontation between these two joined yet divided cities, their programs, politics and urban realities. It creates spaces where the dramatization of impurity, of this mixture of pure capitalism and pure communism that the City Historian aims to narrate is made visible.
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