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Title: From house to school : adaptive re-use of housing for primary education in Havana, Cuba
Author: Dale, Julia Edna Sheelagh
ISNI:       0000 0001 3402 4703
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2005
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In the inner city municipalities of Havana eighty percent of the primary schools are located in houses known as "casas adaptadas". These buildings accommodate more than twenty-seven thousand pupils. The purpose of this investigation is to determine the value of using houses for primary educational needs. The practice of adapting buildings for a different function from the one for which they were originally designed has been carried out for generations. However, this concept raises some fundamental questions relating to the basic principles of design. First, through an analysis of the overall relationship between, and the effect of, building type, form, function and aesthetic meaning in relation to the adaptive reuse of buildings, the study demonstrates how a wider range of solutions can be applied if the focus is placed on the new function rather than on the existing building fabric. The main body of the research then focuses on the contextual reasons behind the concept of adapting houses for primary schools in Cuba. Using a hybrid exploratory and descriptive strategy the purpose is to show how contextual factors provided the motivating force that initially instigated and then sustained the process of recycling obsolete buildings. This is achieved by focusing on the relationship between three specific components:- the evolution of elementary education; the development of architecture and urban growth in Havana; and the contextual factors comprising political policies, economic strategies, and the changing social and cultural development The rationale for the emphasis on the historical analysis is to maintain objectivity and continuity of context The study reveals that the use of houses as primary schools was an acceptable solution for educating young children that was driven by social, economic and political policies of each successive period of government The analysis of the empirical study of the casas adaptadas then illustrates how the houses contribute value to the educational process despite their lack of quality. This is followed by an evaluation of the research findings and their relevance to the real problems that currently face primary school education in the urban areas of Havana, and concludes with a discussion of possible strategies and proposals for future research in this field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available