Happy Birthday Roberto Gottardi! The Italian architect was born on 30 January 1927 in Venice where he studied architecture with Carlo Scarpa, Franco Albini, and Luigi Piccinato. After his professional start in Milan, Gottardi moved to Venezuela and then to Cuba where he trained students in Havana. There, he collaborated with Ricardo Porro and Vittorio Garatti to design the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte at Cubanacán. His School of Dramatic Arts (Escuela de Artes Dramáticas) consists of brick structures organized around a central piazza/amphitheater. Fortress-like in its external appearance, the complex is laid out on an organized, axial plan. The closeness of the buildings, however, makes this inherent symmetry difficult to discern and movement through the compound seems more random than organized. Brick walls and seemingly irregular avenues draw inspiration from medieval Italian towns. Today, Gottardi is one of Cuba’s most well-respected architects.

Reference: Roberto Segre. “Gottardi, Roberto.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. .

Gottardi. Photo: Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray © 2011  

Portrait of Gottardi by Hazel Hankin.

Gottardi gives tour of Escuelas Nacionales de Arte, 2008 

Wall for installation in the Photo Library of Cuba, 2004

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