Date of Submission

Spring 5-9-2022

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Tim, Frank


From 2000 to 2013 nearly 3,856 partial or total buildings collapsed in Havana, Cuba with a 206,000-home deficit thus adding to its severe housing shortage, reported by officials. Officials have also estimate 28,000 people live in buildings that could collapse at any moment and yet some residents refuse to leave structures that authorities have declared unsafe. Locals have described the deaths witnessed from structures collapsing however Cuban officials do not release figures on those killed or injured in building collapses in attempt to minimize the severity of the situation. This thesis aims to investigate an adaptive reuse strategy needed for collapsing and condemned masonry systems in Havana, Cuba. Upgrading their performance to make them safe for inhabitation and to give the community a center for collective wellbeing. Masonry doesn’t support long span conditions or open floor plates that’s conducive to collective engagement needed in Havana neighborhoods, leading to the underutilization of these structures and the further deterioration of the neighborhoods. This thesis approach revives underutilized and potentially dangerous masonry structures in Cuba to no longer be seen as a loss of culture and purpose but as a new community hub generating a micro economy to serve the locals.