Ricardo Porro is a Cuban-born architect (b. 1925). He graduated in architecture from the Universidad de la Habana (University of Havana) in 1949, following which he spent two years in post-graduate studies at the Institute of Urbanism at the Sorbonne. By the mid-1950s, his work took on distinctive Organic tendencies. In 1957, Porro published a polemical article, El sentido de la tradición, calling for a Cuban architecture that recognized the specificities of culture and history - “una arquitectura negra”. Shortly thereafter, Porro’s support for the Cuban Revolution caught up with him, and he was forced into exile when his subversive activities were discovered following the failed General Strike of 1957.
Porro fled to Venezuela in early 1958, where he taught architecture and worked in the Banco Obrero project led by famed architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva. While in Venezuela, Porro met two Italian expatriate architects: Roberto Gottardi and Vittorio Garatti. Following the victory of the Cuban Revolution, Porro returned to Cuba and in 1961 was designated by Fidel Castro as the head of design for Havana's new National Art Schools. Porro invited Gottardi and Garatti to join him in the project, for which he designed the School of Modern Dance and the School of Plastic Arts.
In 1966, Porro fled in exile to France following a political realignment in Cuba, a shift which deemed the architecture and architects of Cuba's National Art Schools to be a politically incorrect counter to the Soviet Functionalist building style that was rapidly gaining dominance in the country. Once in Europe, Porro taught classes in Paris, Lille and Strasbourg on the history of art and architecture. He also collaborated on extensive architectural works in France from the 1980s through the first decade of the 21st century, particularly educational institutions in Île-De-France. Today, Porro lives in Paris, practices architecture, and creates art.
- Loomis, John A., Revolution of Forms - Cuba's Forgotten Art Schools (Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1999 & 2011, ISBN 978-1-56898-988-4)
- María Elena Martín and Eduardo Luis Rodríguez: Havana, Cuba: An Architectural Guide (Junta de Andalucía, Sevilla, 1998, ISBN 84-8095-143-5)
- Eduardo Luis Rodríguez: The Havana Guide, Modern Architecture, 1925-1965 (Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2000, ISBN 1-56898-210-0)
- Charles Arthur Boyer, Dictionnaire de l'Architecture du XXe siècle, sous la direction de Jean-Paul Midant, 1996, p. 718
- Architecture & Urbanisme n°282, œuvres complètes, mars 1994
- Ricardo Porro, Œuvres 1950-1993, 1993
- Gros Plan 1 : Ricardo Porro, catalogue d'exposition à l'Institut français d'architecture, Pandora éditions, 1991, textes de François Barré et Isabelle Cazès
- Ricardo Porro et Renaud de la Noue architectes, collège Elsa Triolet à Saint-Denis, photographies de Anne Favret & Patrick Manez, Les éditions du demi-cercle, 1990
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ricardo Porro.|
- Revolution of Forms website, a book about the Porro-designed Cuban National Art Schools
- Ricardo Porro on Archguide (in French)
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