Cuban architect wins prestigious French award for his restoration work in Trinidad

Posted: 26-Nov-15 10:35

Lazaro Mongano Orellana, a Cuban architect responsible for the restoration of an 18th century mansion in Trinidad has recently been awarded one of the most prestigious accolades in the industry, one that recognises the annual effort of French master restorers, artisans and manufacturers of specialised materials. The "medaille de bronze epique" accolade, part of L'Or Epique awards, was given to a Cuban architect for the first time in over 20 years of the awards' history.

Cuban architect wins prestigious French award for his restoration work in Trinidad

The fine work of a Cuban restoration master and architect, Lazaro Mongano Orellana has been internationally recognised with a prestigious French award, "The Medaillle de Bronze Epique" (roughly translating as The Bronze Feat award).

The award was presented to him during a special award-winning ceremony held at Paris’ famous Louvre Museum at the Carrousel Room, as part of the 21st International Hall of Cultural Heritage (officially called "La 21ème édition du Salon International du Patrimoine Culturel – Carrousel du Louvre"); a four-day long event gathering industry experts and hosting a series of conferences, film screenings, meetings plus an award-winning ceremony giving out three accolades.

The first ever Cuban architect to ever be rewarded with such distinction. Mongano Orellana was awarded for the restoration of a grand 18th century mansion in Cuba’s time-warped colonial city of Trinidad, from where the architect is originally from.

The restored mansion in question is located facing the Plaza Mayor and the Cuban architect took it upon himself to oversee the whole restoration project, a massive feat due to the old dwelling’s visible external decay and serious internal deterioration with various structural problems. But Mongano Orellana not only restored it, he also bought the property and converted part of it into a new restaurant, Sol Ananda, in-keeping with its original design and without altering its cultural and historical value in the least.

The mansion had once belonged to the family of Don Martin de Oliveira, one of the city’s mayors during the 18th century. He was an army captain and owner of one of the first (still rudimentary) sugar refineries in the region, which produced honey-coated sugar cones.

The International Hall of Cultural Heritage has been held in Paris for over 20 years by the French trade union, Fondation Ateliers d’Art, which is made up of over 6,000 master artisan artists, with the mission of representing, organising events for the exchange of experiences and new technologies, as well as to contribute to their economic development.

Eleven countries were present at this year’s awards which recognises the work of master restorers, artisan artists and manufacturers of specialised materials. Over 300 of these “art ateliers” this year’s edition and exhibited the work under this edition’s theme of “Patrimoine et Modernite” (Heritage and Modernity


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