José Canavés Ugalde
Designed by architect José Canavés Ugalde and completed in 1957, the Hotel Capri was another landmark of American-based touristic iconicity.[i] Located in the Vedado one block from the Hotel Nacional, the hotel lacked the iconic public spaces and art of the Riviera and the Havana Hilton. The twelve floors of rooms lay on top of a double-height lobby whose glass walls were screened by a large egg crate of concrete brises-soleil. Eventually, it is the rooftop swimming pool and bar that made the reputation of the hotel and it became iconic in films like Yo Soy Cuba (Kalatozov) and Our Agent in Havana (Carol Reed).[ii]
[i] Album de Cuba, Vol. 6, n.p.; and Rodríguez, La arquitectura del movimiento moderno, p.116.
[ii] See Carol Reed, “Our Man in Havana.” 111 minutes. United Kingdom, 1959; Mikhail Kalatozov, “Yo Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba).” 140 minutes. USSR, 1964. See Chapter Three.