Entre Hospitality is a thesis project that encourages new encounters between Cuban and foreigner by re-defining the hospitality industry in Habana. Entre is the Spanish translation of between. The project attempts to reveal new between spaces that encourage meeting, in the context of an exclusive hotel culture in Havana.
Hotels in Havana use the higher value of foreign capital to extract revenue from tourists. They create enclaves that are only accessible to foreigners, creating a noticeable shift towards geographies of inequality in a society that still prides itself on Socialist rhetoric. Entre Hospitality encourages meeting between local and foreign by promoting cultural programs within the boundaries of a hotel. Trans-national cultural and sporting events are funded through a new spatial and institutional partnership with the hospitality industry. Foreigners and locals are charged the same relative price in relation to national mean income levels creating a ‘hospitality tax’ that is directly redistributed into cultural programs and local culture. The local and foreigner meet not just through spatial proximity, but also through partnerships; necessary to compete in sport, or assemblies and audiences; the collective body of the cultural event.
The project is situated on the Southern edge of Havana’s central park. The architecture is multi-levelled, creating tall, dense spaces, that are naturally cooled in contrast to the air-conditioned enclaves of hotel lobbies. This porous space is interwoven with public routes that connect cultural events to the public city outside and the hotel rooms above. Connecting each room is an expanded circulation space that encourages activities shared between guest, be that Cuban or foreign, performer or audience member. The rooms take the form of a frame above the other programs, a visible bounding of multiple functions that represents both their financial hosting and the institutional threshold of Entre Hospitality to the city beyond.