Agency : A Diplomatic Gap in Havana
Master of Architecture
This thesis examines the territorial, spatial, and political Gaps inherent in the Embassy as program and type. Located in Havana, the project transforms such Gaps into an architectural strategy for the Embassy of the 21st century. An Embassy serves a practical and symbolic purpose. It administrates Visa applications, at the same time representing a country’s culture and projecting its political power. In an Embassy one country’s sovereign territory is embedded in the physical territory of another, making the Embassy the spatial embodiment of a political boundary. The exterior is charged with the politics of the boundary while the space inside is a neutral limbo – a territorial and political Gap. The Embassy is sited in Havana. A politically isolated country, Cuba provides a fertile ground to explore the changing Cuban-American relations. There is now the political possibility for diplomatic interaction, but without an American Embassy in Cuba, there is no physical space for this exchange. An Embassy is needed to facilitate Cuban immigration while at the same time engaging a new diplomatic relationship between the two countries. The time is ripe for a new Embassy.