Wajay: Furniture for an Experimental Housing Project (1971).

by Reinaldo N. Togores.
In Wajay, a small suburban town near Havana, the first prototype houses were built using the prize-winning "Multiflex" construction system presented at the contest held during the IX International Union of Architects (U.I.A.) Congress (Prague, 1967) by a Havana architectural students team under the tutorship of Architect  Fernando Salinas.

As a complement to these experiences, our group was commissioned to devise a furniture and basic household equipment system which would be adequate both formally and conceptually to the new housing units. T
he parameters within which the different components would be designed were derived from the basic modular grill. The pre-existence of a language with many points in common, made the coincidence between furnishings and architecture possible.

Amongst the various house models proposed, one was selected as a first demonstration of the possibilities opened by this coordinated furniture-building design. It was the single space unit, a studio or loft -still an unusual program in our country- set forth as a solution to youth housing problems. The lack of a established tradition as regards this type of dwelling gave us the occasion for demonstrating the possibility of obtaining: an environmental coherence without resorting to the immobility entailed by the simple repetition of identical furniture pieces as part of a “set”. Uniqueness is here allowed for as one or the system's basic premises.

Thus, all available materials and technologies may well be present: wood and bagasse particleboard, metal, canvas and plastics. The beds, now free their isolation in bedrooms –once paired, again single- serve as “soft” surfaces meeting the demands both of rest and social gathering. They share a common space with chairs and armchairs, cardboard or metal lamps, with “hard” surfaces -a folding table or the storage unit tops-, graphics and color, generating a vital dynamics, rich in texture and values, which we proposed would satisfy our youth's most radical demands.

Furniture and Equipment Design: María Teresa Muñiz Riva, Heriberto Duverger and Reinaldo Togores.