REDI is a cooperation and training project based on the MoU between the Italian Ministry for Economic Development and the OHcH, Oficina del Historiador de la ciudad de La Habanna (OHcH), approved by the Ministerio del Comercio Exterior y la Inversión Extranjera (MINCEX).
The restoration, the interior design and the high efficiency technological systems studied for the building situated in Calle de San Ignacio, La Habana Vieja, are the result of the cooperation of a team of Italian and Cuban professionals coordinated by Assorestauro and Federlegnoarredo by the Italian Side and the OHcH by the Cuban side.
Starting from the construction site, the project is intended to showcase the Italian methodologies on the architectural restoration design, the peculiar materials and technologies developed for Cultural Heritages, involving the local professionals.
The entire building is the fusion of different methodologies and languages: the restoration of the surfaces has been carried out entirely by the Cuban Team of The OHcH while the functional design, the technological, domotico and lighting system together with furniture and hardware has been designed by the Italian team. The whole design has been double checked by the Italian and Cuban partners and it has been submitted to the innovative systems of sustainability protocol by the Green Building Council Italia focused on the on the Architectural Heritage.
The building is intended to be the headquarter for a three-year programme of exchange and training mainly focused on the sectors of restoration and Interior design. It will also involve connected exhibitions, events and will offer a wide panorama on the Italian marketplace. Furthermore it is intended to host all the Italian companies which have decided to enter the Cuban market. The concept is based on the idea of creating a ground floor, disclosed by a wide reception area, opened to the public with an exhibition area, a library, an audio-visual library, a kitchen showroom opened for Food events. The upper floor is designed to be a more private space, hosting the conference room, a co-working area open to the Italian professionals and companies, a private meeting room and the central office.
Relations with the Republic of Cuba were started back in 2009 with a mission organized by ITA and were followed by a great number of visits by Cuban delegations to Italy during the yearly workshops held by ITA/Assorestauro. In 2015, contacts were strengthened with the participation of Assorestauro to an institutional mission promoted by Mr. Carlo Calenda, the Italian Vice-Minister of Economic Development (MISE).
During the mission, Assorestauro presented to the representatives of the two countries a project for the promotion of the restoration sector designed by a member of the Association, Ediltecnica, which opened the way to future activities.
During the following meetings held in Italy with ITA and MISE, the proposal by Assorestauro resulted in a memorandum of understanding between MISE and Oficina dell’Historiador, the Cuban institution for the protection of Old Havana, whereby the parties pledged to develop activities of training, and therefore promotion of restoration and design, in a historic site made available by the Cuban government in Calle San Ignacio, a few metres away from the Old Square.
The Memorandum was signed by Mr. Eusebio Leal, Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana, for the Government of Cuba, and by Mr. Carlo Calenda, the Vice-Minister of MISE, for the Italian Government, before the Italian Prime Minister Mr. Matteo Renzi, on 28th October 2015. This institutional document makes the first formal step for an Italian Technology Centre of Restoration and Design in Cuba to be established during 2016 in partnership with the Agency for the promotion abroad and the internationalization of Italian businesses (ITA) and with an action of know-how exchange and cooperation for at least the next two years.