Mario Coyula is an architect, urban designer, and critic who earned his PhD in architecture at the University of Havana in 1961. A member of the Faculty of Architecture, CUJAE, Havana, where he started teaching in 1964, he was awarded the National Prize of Architecture in 2001 and National Habitat Award in 2004, both life-long awards. From 1964-66 he was the Cuban counterpart of the Polish team that had won the international contest for a monument to the Victory of Playa Gir'n.
During 1969-1970 Dr. Coyula spent worked in different cities of the former Soviet Union and Poland, reviewing their teaching programs and visiting project bureaus, plants for industrialized construction, and building sites. On returning to Havana he was appointed vice-director of the School of Architecture at CUJAE, and then director from 1970-73. In 1973 he was appointed director of Architecture and Planning for Metropolitan Havana, and from 1976-77 head of the technical department of the Construction Direction. In 1978 he returned as director of Architecture and Planning of Havana, developing urban regulations, reviewing construction permits, and carrying out urban design projects. In 1980 he was also appointed as first president of Havana's Landmarks Commission, through to 1989, while remaining on his other post. When the Group for the Integral Development of Havana was created in 1987, he joined it as vice-director, and became director from 1999-2001, when he left in order to teach at Harvard.
Co-designer of two commemorative monuments in Havana, he is the main or co-author of numerous books on architecture, the history of architecture, and urban theory. He is the former editor of the journal Arquitectura-Cuba and present member of the editorial boards from Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Temas, Il' and Revista Bimestre Cubana, all published in Havana; and from Archivos de Arquitectura de las Antillas in Santo Domingo and Topos in Belo Horizonte. Author of more than 190 articles, prologues, essays and reviews in 21 Cuban and 30 foreign publications, in 2008 he finished his first novel, Catalina, still unpublished.
Mario Coyula has been invited to lecture, conduct workshops, short courses, and project reviews in universities, cultural centers, and professional associations all over the world, and in major cities through the United States. He was designated Fellow from the SIGUS program at MIT (1990), and is a member since 2001 of the International Research Group on Architecture and Infrastructure (GRAI, in French), recently renamed as LIAT (Research Laboratory for Infrastructure, Architecture and Territory), in Paris. In 2002 he was the first Cuban as the RFK Visiting Professor from the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), and also at the Graduate School of Design (GSD) at Harvard University. He is the president of the National Permanent Jury for Scientific Degrees in Architecture at the Ministry of Higher Education, and of the Docent Categories Jury at the Faculty of Architecture, CUJAE. He is a member of the Scientific Council at this Faculty, and of the Scientific Commission from the Technical Advisory Council to the Ministry of Construction in Cuba.