Eugenio Rayneri Piedra

Eugenio Rayneri Piedra is the architect of numerous buildings in Havana, including the entrance to the Colón Cemetery; and, noteworthy as the architect of the Cuban National Capitol Building, El Capitolio, completed in 1929 during the administration of President Gerardo Machado. The first graduate of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture (Indiana, USA) in 1904, he returned to Havana to enter into private practice with his father.[1] He won an international competition for Cuba’s Presidential Palace, and was founder and first president of the Cuban Society of Architects.[2] He was also professor at the University of Havana, brother of pianist Laura Rayneri Piedra, and uncle of ballet master Fernando Alonso (dancer).[3]

Eugenio Rayneri Piedra
Havana Capitol Building-2.jpg
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame

El CapitolioEdit

Capitolio floor plan. Havana, Cuba. 2-Entrance Portico, 3-Rotunda, 4-Apse, 5-Salon de Marti, 6-Library, 7-Committee room, 8-Stair of Honor, 9-Patio-garden, 10-Salon (pasos perdidos), 12-Secretary, 14-Senate, 15-Cámara, 16-Gallery.

According to its architect, Eugenio Rayneri Piedra, the inspiration for the cupola came from the Panthéon in Paris by way of Bramante's Tempietto in San Pietro in Montorio.

The cupola, which is stone clad around a steel frame that was constructed in the United States, is set planimetrically forward on the building to allow for the apse that contains La Republica, the "Statue of the Republic". At almost 92 m (302 ft) high, the dome was the highest point in the city of Havana until 1956 when the FOCSA Building was built reaching a height of 121 meters (397 ft). The Capitolio had the third highest dome in the world at the time of its construction.


  1. ^ Pérez, Julio César. "On Tradition and Timeless Architecture, Part 1", Cuban Art News, The Howard and Patricia Farber Foundation, Los Angeles, 21 February 2013. Retrieved on 31 January 2015.
  2. ^ Nagy, John. "Havana notebook", Notre Dame Magazine, Notre Dame, Winter 2011-2012. Retrieved on 31 January 2015.
  3. ^ Singer, Toba (2013). Fernando Alonso: The Father of Cuban Ballet. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. ISBN 0813044022.