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SEED of Havana: Dissolving Condensers

Part 2 Project 2019
Sun Yen Yee
University of Westminster UK
“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” Marcel Proust

Building on the spirit of collectivity and equal right to the city that Cuba has developed over the past 60 years of post-revolution era, the thesis takes a theoretical approach to invigorate the revolution aspirations by liberating Soviet Constructivists’ social condenser concept.

Challenging the architect's pride in creating exquisite, the project proposes an alternative architectural approach where the proposed scheme appears, dissolves and reappears across the city.

The SEEDs (Socio-Economic Empowerment Device) act as the dissolving condensers which are distributed and injected across the urban voids to construct situations for collective empowerment. The thesis mediates between the socialist structure and the rapid arrival of global capitalists in Cuba, forming a gentle subversion against the conventional façade-centric heritage conservation approach.

The proposed condensers - SEEDs growing from the voids forge new collective hope in rebuilding the city and reassembling architecture from crumbling façade leftovers, an evident Cuban resiliency of ‘creating something out of nothing’.

The project becomes a process in perpetuity and eventually the city itself evolves into an ultimate version of new condenser of our time.

Sun Yen Yee

Tutor(s)
Nasser Golzari
Dr Yara Sharif
2019
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