Even oblivion seemed not to remember them . Near the end of the Alameda de Paula were visible the ruins of three jetties. In the gray beauty of them fishermen, lovers and families used to enter to look more closely at the sea. Of the three dockss, only the old Wood and Cigar Warehouse survived, the other two had to be demolished.
For two and a half years, a team of engineers, architects, designers and builders of the Office of the Historian of Havana (OHCH) have turned their creativity and commitment to return splendor to this dock, witness of a time of renewal of the capital’s port.
That is why it was essential to rescue it, because part of the economic history of Havana and the country is in that breakwater, named Industrial Heritage of Cuba.
When this year the rehabilitation of the surviving dock culminates, this will have a commercial function. On the back there will be a big market and will have 14 cold rooms, which will cater to all establishments in the Avenida del Puerto, while in the front space they will set up a beer parlor where some 400 patrons can enjoy a refreshing drink.
Those coming to this place will find a friendly environment, the overall construction designer, Juan Jose Diaz said: “Despite accommodating 400 people at once, we seek the warmth around the color treatment in the selection of furniture and the materials to be used, and have avoided the architectural barriers “.
The cozy atmosphere at this pier is owed as well to the creativity of Monica Pestano, who was responsible for the interior design of the establishment. Within the space she worked on four concepts: the beer, the sea, the inn and the warehouse. This is reflected in the design “which was intended to recreate a Spanish inn and achieve harmony through the use of formal contemporaries, from the color, the textures and shapes,” the designer of the OHCH says.
Another feature of the place is to have a flamenco satge. “It will not be just a place to eat or have a beer, but also a place where there will be a show in which people can interact with it. Moreover, since a large transparent tank you can appreciate the beer manufacturing process and the laboratory, ” the architect Diaz says.
This parlor, which will be twice as big as the one located in the Old Town Square, will also have two grills and a 27 meter long bar. To this pleasant atmosphere of tastes, smells and sounds are added
two giant murals made by graphic designer Edel Rodriguez Molano, which lie on either side of the space.
But not only the indoor environment is pleasant, as another of the wonders of the place is its viewpoint. It is a perimeter portal, similar to that of the countryside villas we have in some parts of Cuba, to which they added a public staircase for people to go up and enjoy the view of the bay.
Also they are currently working on the property entrance, which will have a unique square that will connect the Almacenes de San Jose Cultural Center to the Brewery. The order was to make a green space but to do so in an area so close to the sea they had to face its technical complexities, as not all plant species survive here, architect Merzeau, project manager for outer spaces, explains.
In the Plaza de la Madera (Wood Square), as it is called, the natural elements seem artificial. They also played with random clutter that always exists in this area of the port, as a place of loading and unloading. “Another typical local items that caught our attention were the big boxes, large crates where the goods came and took the as a visual reference,” Merzeau says
These boxes sometimes act as large pots where trees will be planted in other cases there are green boxes, which are formed with a metal bucket that is covered by vines.
The furniture also plays with the playful and recreational nature that the space has and the commercial function of the brewery. “It is furniture where you can sit in a natural way, you can lie down, walk over: it is to give possibilities,” the architect says.
In a few years when the Port Avenue will be completely revitalized you can walk along the whole coastline, and near the end of the tour, drink a refreshing beer while enjoying the view from the Plaza de la Madera or revel in the spectacular view of Havana Bay.