Cuba has some of the most eclectic doors and window gates in the world, ranging from ornate metalwork to mixed-material entryways. Not enough can be said of these narrow visions, these tunnels that lead to entire “interior” worlds. Each facade is a unique expression, each window hides a story, and each door stands as an entryway into the unknown.
Havana streets are one large experiment in color blocking and eclecticism. Where else can you see pink pastels juxtaposed with forest green and sea blue with mahogany?
Most of the doorways and windows in Cuba are covered with intricate metal window guards. But they’re not just beautiful additions to the home; they also serve as secure breezeways during the heat of the day. Plus residents can still socialize with passersby from the comfort of their living rooms.
Many doors in Havana open to long narrow entryways that lead to private homes.
This mix of ornate woodwork, metalwork, sculpture, and tile made for a particularly enchanting facade in Trinidad, Cuba.
Callejon de Hamel is one of Centro Habana’s most spectacular streets. Created, designed, and maintained by artist Salvador González Escalona, this eclectic street is entirely dedicated to Afro-Cuban culture and Santeria.
The renovation of historical structures is an ongoing process in Cuba. This spectacular early 20th century mansion, originally called La Mansión Camagüey, now houses one of Havana’s most famous “hidden” restaurants: La Guarida. A spiral staircase in the entryway leads to the restaurant on the third floor and the rooftop area offers stunning views of the cityscape.
There’s no doubt about it: Cuba’s architecture is an eclectic display of time periods and styles, including Baroque, Neoclassical, and Art Deco. Most of the color designs and structures have Spanish, Roman, and Moorish influence.
Neoclassical balconies can be seen all around Old Havana, complete with “color pop” doors and modern breezeways.
Historic Spanish archways can be found all over Old Havana. The archways below act as a continuous stream of doorways that give the illusion of infinity.
Special thanks to Fisheye Journeys for providing an immersive travel experience and insight into the art and culture in Cuba.
For more design inspiration, check out Cuba’s vivid expressions in color blocking and street scenes here.