Gallery: Foster + Partners To Redesign Fidel Castro’s Abandoned School ...


Foster + Partners has been selected to renovate and redesign Cuba’s School of Ballet, which was originally conceived by Fidel Castro. According to BDonline, the derelict school, which was never completed and has been overtaken by plants for the past fifty years, will soon be home to a new arts complex for Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta. Even though the jungle has taken over, Foster + Partners hopes to revive the abandoned school into a beautiful new facility.

Originally, the School of Ballet was conceived and founded by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara along with a four other art schools, including the School of Modern Dance, Plastic Arts, Dramatic Arts and Music. The buildings are considered by some to be among the most outstanding architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution. The organic Catalan-vaulted brick and terra-cotta structures were built on the site of a former country club in the far western Havana suburb of Cubanacán. Vittorio Garatti designed the School of Ballet, which was never completed and has been abandoned since the 1960s when the National Art Schools fell out of favor and lost funding.

Although the school was overgrown by the jungle, Foster + Partners will redesign the complex and give it a new life for Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta. Acosta has danced with the Royal Ballet since 1998 and wants to convert the abandoned school into an arts complex. The series of domed roof buildings connected by an organic layering of Catalan vaults a winding path will be redeveloped. Norman Foster told the Sunday Times: “Carlos is a great dancer who is inspiring the regeneration of an iconic ruin of early modernism outside Havana.”

+ Foster + Parnters

Via BDonline

Images courtesy of BDonline and flickr user toml1959, under creative commons.


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Elisabetta June 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I can’t believe that an “archi-star” will rebuild the original masterpiece of Vittorio Garatti. It’s a crime! Vittorio Garatti is alive and he represents the best choice that Cuba could have to complete the school!!! Just one question: would Foster be happy if another architect rebuild one of his designed building?

  2. Juana17 June 26, 2012 at 11:38 am

    now if only the US would give visas without traumatizing the artists and people of CUBA, same goes to el gobierno Cubano… The arts in Cuba are lifegiving, internal and integral like blood, as we say, “es en mi sangre.” Soy cubana, so artiste, para mi, es lo mismo… how coincidental that my 2 words to post my comment ar “tormaa and Salvation”… I hope that this new center is funded by good people for the good of all people and not, as is often the case, a beautiful place made not for todos cubanos but for la yuma son ricos ( well off foreigners) Quizas the United States will finally realize that Cuba has been strangled not only by jungle vines but of the poverty that came from years of isolation through a hideous embargo. Let our families know each other, let Cuba flourish in the welcome sun of amistad between countries. Neighbors unite. change will come.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home