Walter Betancourt, Pyramides, Cuba

Cafetería Las Pirámides

Built in 1966, this was architect  Walter Betancourt’s first work in Santiago de Cuba. The cafeteria was built on a small plot of land that sits as an island in the middle of Avenida René Ramos Latour, where it converges with Mariana Grajales and the Paseo Marti.

Los Pyramides Cafeteria by Walter Betancourt in Santiago de Cuba
The building is composed of several exposed brick pyramidal columns.  The main structure standing out due to its succession of terraces.

Betancourt, Cuba, Pyramides, architectureVegetation plays an important role working as jardinieres and helping to provide a small amount of a cooling effect.

The cafeteria was originally called Los Hoyos (the holes) after the neighborhood, but took on the name Las Pirámides and eventually became an urban landmark.

Las Pyramides by Walter Betancourt in Santiago de CubaSince the Cubans have lost such a large part of their architectural knowledge base, the fact that this building is still standing and in fairly good shape, is a remarkable testament to the architect.

Walter Betancourt, Cuba, Pyramides Cafeteria*

Walter Betancourt, Cuba, architecture *Betancourt, Cuba, architect, restaurant

Walter Betancourt was a Cuban American architect.  He graduated from University of Virginia and interned with Richard Neutra.  Betancourt turned down an opportunity to work with Frank Lloyd Wright in order to work under what had promised to be a new and emerging age during the revolution of Cuba.  Betancourt was quickly disillusioned and eventually moved far away from the capital of Havana, and its stifling rules, to the city of Santiago de Cuba.  He died at the age of 42.