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Havana: An Insider's View of Architecture and the Arts
Saturday, 16 February to Thursday, 21 February 2013


A Soane Travels Exclusive
Joining our group with be HERMES MALLEA, a Cuban American architect, designer and author of the recent book "The Great Houses of Havana."

Join us as we head to the Caribbean and a place that was first discovered in 1492. While Sir John Soane didn't travel to the new world, he certainly would have known about it as the Americas were much discussed in the British press during the many decades of Soane's life. For a period in 1762 to 1763, Havana and parts of Cuba were controlled by Great Britain as British forces besieged and captured it during the Seven Years' War. With the Treaty of Paris, the island was returned to Kingdom of Spain (Charles III) as part of the negotiations with Britain's George III, who agreed to cede Havana and Manila for Florida and other lands. The island experienced amazing growth and influence following the return to the Spanish realm.

Members of Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation and friends will enjoy an extraordinary trip which is reserved for up to 25 or so discerning travelers who are looking for a special journey exploring architecture, art and the decorative arts.

Joining our group will be HERMES MALLEA, a Cuban American architect, designer and author of the recent book THE GREAT HOUSES OF HAVANA, A CENTURY OF CUBAN STYLE (The Monacelli Press, 2011). This is a Soane Travels exclusive as this will be the first trip Mr. Mallea has ever accompanied with a group to Cuba.

Hermes Mallea, AIA, is an architect and a partner in the New York City based firm M(Group) with Carey Maloney. They have been friends and admirers of the Soane for many years.

Mr. Mallea studied at the University of Miami's School of Architecture and Columbia University's graduate school of Historic Preservation and is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). A longtime collector of vintage Cuban photographs, Mr. Mallea has traveled to Cuba frequently to do research for his first book, and is now working on his second book. He also has lectured in Cuba on issues of historic preservation.

Check out the following links:

- Architectural Digest article plus images from the book

- Web site on the book The Great Houses of Havana

- M(Group)

Meet at Miami International Airport. We are scheduled for departure by regularly-scheduled chartered Delta Air Lines flight from Miami (MIA) at 10am* and arriving Havana at 11am. Flight check-in time is 6am due to required departure procedures. *Flight and schedule is subject to change.

After arrival at the José Martí Airport, drive through various neighborhoods of Havana on the way to the hotel as an overview to our explorations ahead. We will enjoy lunch and then check-in at Parque Central Hotel - out home for our five-nights in Havana. Our hotel is managed by Iberostar – a Spanish hotel chain with properties in fifteen counties – and is considered one of the top hotels in the city. It is located in the heart of the city by the Capitolio building and is easy walking to Old Havana and various sites. In the early evening, attend an introductory lecture by Hermes Mallea based on his book to give an understanding of Havana family life from 1860 to 1960 providing insight into how fashionable neighbors shifted and housing types evolved. We will then enjoy a cocktail reception on the hotel's rooftop. Our welcome dinner this evening is at a lively local restaurant.


This morning we join an architectural historian for a lecture and morning walking tour of Old Havana focusing on the four main squares: the Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, Plaza Vieja and Plaza de la Catedral. Conclude with lunch at a restaurant near the cathedral. Afternoon visits are arranged in the homes and studios of some of Havana's leading artists, where there may be an opportunity to purchase art such as paintings and drawings.

In the early evening, we have been invited to a private after-hours tour and reception at the Ceramics Museum. This will be followed by dinner at a paladar, a restaurant in a private home that operates with the special permission of the Cuban government.
We start our morning with a lecture on contemporary Cuba reality providing insight into life and living on this island nation.

We then join Hermes Mallea for a special tour of mid 20th century architecture, highlighting achievements before and after the revolution – this tour by bus has been created especially for our group. Lunch on the terrace of the Nacional Hotel – the hotel was originally designed by McKim Mead and White and opened in 1930. The hotel is in the Vedado area of Havana and is perched on a rise overlooking the Malecón and sea.

In the afternoon, visit the complex of the National Arts Schools and specifically ISA, Instituto Superior de Arte, where we will join a professor (who is an artist) for a guided visit through the studios and work spaces of Cuba's leading art school - and we'll be viewing the students' artwork. The complex of five schools was designed by Vittorio Garatti, Roberto Gottardi (Italians) and Ricardo Porro (Cuban) on the former private country club golf course in western suburb of Cubanacan.

Continue for a late afternoon visit to the residence of the Swiss Ambassador, a home completed in 1958 as designed by Richard Neutra and gardens by Roberto Burle Marx.

Dinner and the evening are at leisure.

This morning we start with a curatorial tour of the National Museum of Fine Arts.

Following lunch in a local private restaurant, we drive out of the city - seeing real Cuban street life – heading southwards from the city to the small, hilltop town of
San Francisco de Paula for a visit to Finca La Vigía (Lookout Farm), the house where Ernest Hemingway lived for 20 years. This house museum is unique in that one views the rooms through open windows from the terraces which surround the house. On the grounds, you can see his famous fishing boat Pilar, and we can climb the tower to his study. You can read more about Finca La Vigía at: Our afternoon will conclude with a brief visit to the village of Cojímar, the setting for "The Old Man and the Sea."

This evening we go to the Ludwig Foundation for the Arts where we will have two special presentations. One on the work of the Ludwig Foundation and Cuban Art, and then we'll hear from Hermes Mallea and local colleagues associated with his books. and a chance to discuss the arts with invited local guests. The Ludwig Foundation Director will host a cocktail reception and buffet dinner on the penthouse terrace – and this will be a great chance to discuss the arts with invited local artists and guests.
Attend an informal morning rehearsal of the Contemporary Dance Company of Cuba at the Teatro Nacional, located adjacent to the Plaza de la Revolución. Continue to the Museum of Decorative Arts to view this extraordinary collection now housed in a former mansion in the Vedado district – the house was completed in 1927 in the neo-classical style.

Lunch is at leisure.

In the late afternoon, we have been invited to a private concert followed by our farewell dinner.


Morning departure for the airport for the flight to Miami. We are currently scheduled for a flight departing Havana at 11am and arriving Miami (MIA) at 12 noon. *Flight and schedule is subject to change.

NOTE: Upon arrival and clearance at Miami Int'l Airport, travelers will need to collect their luggage and proceed to their airline counter for check-in for flights home. There is no advance check-in available in Havana. Please remember that you need to check-in two hours prior to your flight from Miami, so do not book flights for departure till after 4pm that afternoon.

All arrangements are made by Academic Arrangements Abroad and their agents
on behalf of Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation

TRIP SPECIFICS as of 6 December 2012 - all arrangements are subject to change:

Total cost is $4,745.00 per person double occupancy - this total price includes donation* to the Soane. Single Accommodations: add $425 (very limited availability) The cost per person includes 5 nights in deluxe hotel, breakfast each day, four lunches and four dinners as specified, local transportation by private deluxe coach, all entries, guides.

Each traveler is requested to join as a 2013 Soane Architects and Designers Circle member with a fully tax deductible contribution of $500 per person. Contributions may be paid by check or credit card. You also have the option of payment in 2012 tax year or 2013 (with payment to be received no later than January 4th of 2013. If making the contribution by check, please make payable to Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation and send directly to the Soane Foundation, 1040 First Avenue, No. 311, New York NY 10022

Please note, all flight arrangements into and out of Miami are up to the individual traveler.

Payment in full is requested to confirm your place.
[ Couples = $8,490.00 / Individuals sharing a room = $4,245.00 / Individuals in single room = $5,170.00 ]
Make check payable to: Academic Arrangements Abroad. Please see Terms & Conditions.

Not included in rates: Airfare, passport fees, alcoholic beverages other than as noted in the program, meals not specified, personal expenses such as laundry - phone calls - etc., trip insurance.

Full brochure - with color photos (9 pages)

Full brochure – black white, no photos for easy printing (8 pages)

Reply Forms and Information (5 pages)

For further information contact Chas Miller at the Soane Foundation office
at 212-223-2012 |
Stephanie Tack at Academic Arrangements Abroad
at 212-514-8921 |

Cuba Images: two images are non-copyrighted and purchased from Getty Images;
most others are by Moffett Cochran, Tom Kligerman, Richard Snyder or Chas Miller

Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation: 1040 First Avenue  No. 311 New York, NY 10022        (212) 223-2012
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