Parque José Martí was conceptualized as a sports complex for the younger generation of Cubans. The park reflects the optimism and hope that permeated Cuba during the forties and fifties, with uniquely created architectural forms, and a state-of-the art complex. In total there were five zones to the park: stadium, gymnasium, swimming pool, children’s area and parking lots.

  • Location: Havana, Cuba
  • Architect: Octavio Buigas de la Cruz
  • Built: 1959-1960
  • Height: 41ft 3 in (12.6 m)
  • Length: 410 ft (125 m), 26 units
  • Width: 61ft 7 in (18.8 m)
  • Structural system: Thin-walled cantilever
  • Construction material: Reinforced concrete
  • Capacity: 3150 persons

Parque José Martí lies in close proximity to the ocean. Common to all coastal structures, the salinity in the air penetrates the concrete and causes corrosion of the reinforcing steel bars. The structure is currently being repaired.

Structurally, the stadium in Parque José Martí acts as a slender cantilever. The main load on the structure is its self weight, which acts at an eccentricity with respect to the vertical support and creates an overturning moment. The overturning moment is resisted by the stadium seating itself, which acts as a buttress. The column has both vertical and horizontal reaction forces, which help resist the self weight of the structure. The column and buttress combined resist the overturning moment induced by the self weight.

Without the support of the buttress that forms the base of the stadium seating, the cantilever would be unstable and tip forward. However, the buttress, which is in compression, stabilizes the cantilever and provides sufficient force to balance the overturning moment produced by the eccentricity of the self weight.

Graphic statics is a geometric means to determine and illustrate reaction forces in the structure. The magnitude of the forces are represented by the length of the arrows, and the slopes represent the real directions (lines of actions) of the reaction forces. To be in equilibrium, the lines of action (dashed) have to be concurrent (to balance the moments) and the polygon of forces closed (to balance the forces).

Student authors of project:
Isabella Douglas
Corrie Kavanaugh
Julie Chong