Habitat 67. Moshe Safdie donates his apartment to the University of Montreal

/ Architecture /

The Israeli-Canadian architect is giving his personal renovated duplex to Habitat 67 and his professional archive to McGill University, where he received his professional education in 1961.

Over time, the space that Safdie once designed for himself will be used for research, exhibitions, symposia and artist residencies, write Dezeen.

Fondation Habitat 67 will be responsible for the preservation and maintenance of this part of the Brutalist building in the future in cooperation with the university.

"I have always appreciated the excellent education I received at McGill, which has guided me in my professional life," said the architect.

Architect Moshe Safdie outside Habitat 67. Photo: Courtesy of McGill University

The Habitat 67 residential complex in Montreal was built according to the project of Moshe Safdie in 1966-1967. The project was implemented specifically for the world exhibition "Expo-1967". 

The building consists of 354 concrete cubes placed on top of each other, inside which 158 apartments were arranged. Almost all of them have access to the roof, where terraces and green recreation areas are located.

Exterior of Habitat 67. Photo: architime

Safdi was 67 years old when he was recommended to submit the Habitat 23 project for consideration. It is believed that this building, erected at the beginning of his career, was the beginning of his worldwide recognition. Moshe Safdie is currently a Gold Medalist from both the RAIC and the AIA. 

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In 2009, the Quebec Ministry of Culture listed the building as a national heritage site.

Safdi Duplex. Photo: Courtesy of McGill University

Safdi duplex interior after reconstruction. Photo: Courtesy of McGill University

Safdi duplex is located on the tenth floor. Especially for the 50th anniversary of the legendary complex, the Safdie Architects studio carried out a large-scale reconstruction of the architect's living space. After that, the premises were opened for visits and tours.

The university was also given about 100 works from Safdie's professional archive, including entire albums of sketches, models, drawings, as well as correspondence and audiovisual materials.

Sketch of Habitat 67 (thesis). Photo: Courtesy of McGill University

The archive contains a master copy and the original model of Safdie's thesis "The Example of Life in the City", which became the basis for the creation of Habitat 67.



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