Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Alvarez, Raul, Architect (firm); Burle Marx, Roberto, Landscape Architect (firm); Neutra, Richard J., Architect (firm); Raul Alvarez (architect); John A. Blanton (architect); Roberto Burle Marx (landscape architect); Benno Fischer (architect); Serge N. Koschin (architect); Richard Josef Neutra (architect)

Dates: constructed 1956

2 stories

19A #15012 Cubanacan Playa
Cubanacan Playa, Havana, Cuba

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House located on a plot of three acres in the Country Club section of Havana; 19A #15012 Cubanacan Playa

Raul Alvarez worked as supervising architect; Benno Fischer, Serge Koschin, John Blanton all worked on the architectural design; the noted Brazilian landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx, collaborated on the landscape design of the three-acre property; the house was built for a wealthy Swiss family that used the Cuban property in the fall, winter and spring; the De Schulthess family occupied a 400-year old castle in the Swiss Alps for the summer months; the Cuban building occupied 9,350 square-feet and was built c. 1960.

The De Schulthess House had a U-shaped plan wrapped around a large auto courtyard. On the opposite facade, second-floor bedrooms looked out onto a garden and pool designed by the noted Brazilian landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994). Author Eduardo Luis Rodríguez wrote of the residence: "Located on an ample suburban lot, the work consists of a large central body on two levels, with two lower blocks attached at right angles to either end. This composition creates a forecourt for receiving visitors' cars on social occasions. The most noteworthy facade overlooks the garden, facing the pool and a decorative water tank. It is made up of spacious terraces and large windows, reflecting Neutra's advocation [sic] of the healthy, open-air life." (See Eduardo Luis Rodríguez, The Havana Guide: Modern Architecture, 1925-1965, [New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000], p. 54.) The house was later used as a diplomatic residence. It was awarded the National College of Architects' Gold Medal in 1958.

PCAD id: 5067