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Museum Park gets a 60-foot balcony from Cuba, or at least an outline of one

Detail of sculptor Juan Garaizabal's 'Havana's Balcony,' on display in Museum Park.
Detail of sculptor Juan Garaizabal's 'Havana's Balcony,' on display in Museum Park.

The perennial sprouting of art is underway in Miami, with Museum Park, located adjacent to the Perez Art Museum Miami and the still under-construction Frost Science Museum, getting a giant bloom in the form a sixty-foot sculpture by Spanish artist Juan Garaizabal. 


The work, entitled “Havana’s Balcony,” is a stainless steel and concrete outline of one of the balconies of Plaza de las Armas in Havana, Cuba, with curves that mimic the second story railings of many Spanish colonial structures throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The sculpture, which straddles a piece of the park’s walkway and is supported by two separate cement foundations, is situated to face Cuba and will be erected for a year, perhaps longer. 


The piece aims to remind Miami, which Garaizabal calls a “vertical world that is very motorized,” of the architectural roots that many of its current residents share. “The balcony represents another rhythm, that other piece and a different architectural link that you find in Havana which has this historical link to here,” says Garaizabal, during a break from construction. The sculpture will be completed by Tuesday with an opening party to take place on Wednesday. 


By March of 2017, Garaizabal plans to erect a similar structure in Cuba, facing Miami from Havana’s waterfront strip, the Malecon. “I worked on the idea of Miami that I wanted to bring to Havana and I took a very good example of Deco architecture that I saw, the Webster Hotel. So I took the lines of the Webster Hotel.” The structure will also be equipped with LED lights that will illuminate the work at night. 

Garaizabal was excited about the prospect of allowing Miami and Cuba to share in each other’s architectural heritage, knowing that relations between the United States and Cuba seem to be shifting. “Obviously I know there is a historical moment. And I love to work in places where history happens.”