The Solimar Building
TXT: CLAUDIA ÁLVaREZ DELGADO PHOTO: RÓmulo Sans
Two blocks away from the Malecón, from Parque Maceo and the Callejón de Hamel stand the sensual lines of the Solimar building, located at 205 Soledad Street between San Lázaro and Ánimas, Centro Habana.
Designed in 1944 by Cuban architect and professor Manuel Copado, this building is a prime example of architectural originality. The most outstanding feature of the Solimar is the sensuously curved balconies that front the eight floors in rows of five. The building has other small-scale semi-circular balconies along its lateral façade.
The Solimar gives an illusion of being free and unencumbered compared to the dense mass of buildings surrounding it in this highly populated area. For one thing, it does not take up all the land on which it stands but establishes areas of clear outside space.
Apart from demonstrating Copado’s skill, the Solimar building was in the very vanguard of the first wave of Modernism in Cuba at the time it was built. The building included new materials like reinforced concrete that allowed the lovely wavy lines of balconies for which it is famous.
+ information pág. 60-61 The H Book 2008 09