Cuba: Design Journal #9 Hotel Santa Clara Libre

May 8, 2017

Cuba: Design Journal #9 Hotel Santa Clara Libre 💫 The seafoam green concrete of this 10 story, modernist high-rise, built in 1953, radiates across the adjacent palm-lined Parque Vidal, in the centre of Santa Clara. 

With a small, traditional bar perched on the fenced in rooftop, this is an undisturbed space to take in the sights of this city, where in 1958 it was host to the final battle of Che Guevara's guerrilla war, marking the end of Batista's dictatorship. The hotel itself played a crucial part; the rooftop was occupied by rebel army snipers, and bullet holes are still visible on the facade.

 

The interior is a classic example of Cuba's post-revolution time freeze, with unchanged furnishings, faded prints on the wall and one tiny, rickety elevator serving the 168 room hotel. 

On arrival you need to show your passport to go up to the roof, and spend an awkward few minutes hovering as the official copies down all the details by hand. Judging from the book it appeared not many people had called by that week, and it is certainly not on the main tourist trails, in fact it is often described as a 'monstrosity' - 'ugly architecture', but there is something enticing about the scale of this modernist piece, particularly given its contrast with the neo-classical beauties that surround it. There is something mesmerising about the way it jars, and the time warp it offers as you step through the doors into the dusty reception, where the clock's tick and scent of stale wood, or perhaps tobacco, seem to whisper. 

#cuba #caribbean #santaclara #startupsisters #girlboss #entrepreneur #decoration #interiordesign #buylessbuybetter #digitalnomad #motivation #startup #theworldofinteriors #joyeveryday #destination #bucketlist #designinspo #instatravel #ig_cuba #travelblogger #aroundtheworld #igtravel #getlost #castro #cheguevera #cubanrevolution #architecture #exploretocreate 📷 @daniel.munday

 

 

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Copyright Sophie and Rosie Osborne. 2016.