Theorist, architect, and educator Moshe Safdie (born July 14, 1938), made his first mark on architecture with his master's thesis, where the idea for Habitat 67 originated. Catapulted to attention, Safdie has used his ground-breaking first project to develop a reputation as a prolific creator of cultural buildings, translating his radicalism into a dramatic yet sensitive style that has become popular across the world. Increasingly working in Asia and the Middle East, Safdie puts an emphasis on integrating green and public spaces into his modernist designs.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 International and Universal Exposition or Expo 67 in Quebec, Canada Post, and renowned architect Moshe Safdie have revealed a celebratory stamp depicting Safdie’s iconic Habitat 67, which was unveiled as the Canadian Pavilion for the world fair.
The housing complex, commissioned by the Canadian government and the city of Montreal, now holds the status as a National Heritage Site and its commemorative stamp is the first of ten to be issued by Canada Post in celebration of the country’s 150th anniversary. Each stamp highlights a key moment in Canada’s history since its centennial in 1967.
There’s no doubt that one of the best things about architecture is its universality. Wherever you come from, whatever you do, however you speak, architecture has somehow touched your life. However, when one unexpectedly has to pronounce a foreign architect’s name... things can get a little tricky. This is especially the case when mispronunciation could end up making you look less knowledgeable than you really are. (If you're really unlucky, it could end up making you look stupid in front of your children and the whole world.)
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 22 architects with names that are a little difficult to pronounce, and paired them with a recording in which their names are said impeccably. Listen and repeat as many times as it takes to get it right, and you’ll be prepared for any intellectual architectural conversation that comes your way.
In the latest edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the team speak to Moshe Safdie – the Israeli-Canadian architect whose "signature geometric style of lavish curves and green space has made the self-styled Modernist an influential voice" in the profession. The conversation, broadcast from Safdie's Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore, reflects on his life and work – including Montréal's Habitat 67.
Moshe Safdie will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 National Design Awards of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The museum states, “The Lifetime Achievement Award is given in recognition of a distinguished individual who has made a profound and long-term contribution to the contemporary practice of design.” Safdie and his fellow recipients will be honored at the 17th annual National Design Awards gala in New York in October.
This month, Family Design Day will be taking inspiration from the exhibition Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie and following Moshe Safdie FAIA’s design principle (and book of the same name), For everyone a garden, participants will transform a basic shoe box into a dream apartment with unique green space that reflects the goals of Habitat ’67, the 1960s housing complex that launched the architect’s career.
World-renowned architect and 2015 AIA Gold Medal–winner Moshe Safdie FAIA’s masterful use of light and geometry is explored in Global Citizen. This international exhibition is a retrospective that spans decades, from Safdie’s formative period in the 1960s and early 1970s to his recent projects around the world. Featuring more than 100 objects, including drawings, sketches, videos, photographs, and scale models, Safdie’s architecture is portrayed not only as visual art but also as a medium for advancing social, political, and cultural goals.
This exhibition is curated by Donald Albrecht and designed by Nader Tehrani.
In conjunction with the exhibition Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie on display at BSA Space, this portrait film celebrates the life and work of world-renowned Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie FAIA by highlighting his outstanding contribution to the field of architecture. From the Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem to the masterplan for the city of Modi’in to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, this personal documentary delves into some of Safdie’s most famous design projects and explores what makes each one unique.
Walking along the High Line in his self-designed wardrobe, Moshe Safdie spent the day with New York Times journalist Ruth La Ferla to discuss his views on architecture and the city. "Look what happens in the city when something becomes a destination,” he told Ferla, referring to the High Line. The 77-year-old architect is preparing to build his first project in New York. Follow this link to read the New York Time's complete conversation with Safdie.
In It’s A Wonderful Life the film’s protagonist George Bailey, facing a crisis of faith, is visited by his guardian angel, and shown an alternate reality where he doesn’t exist. The experience gives meaning to George’s life, showing him his own importance to others. With the increasing scale of design competitions these days, architectural “could-have-beens” are piling up in record numbers, and just as George Bailey's sense of self was restored by seeing his alternate reality, hypothesizing about alternative outcomes in architecture is a chance to reflect on our current architectural moment.
Today marks the one-year-anniversary of the opening of Phase 3 of the High Line. While New Yorkers and urbanists the world over have lauded the success of this industrial-utility-turned-urban-oasis, the park and the slew of other urban improvements it has inspired almost happened very differently. Although we have come to know and love the High Line of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations, in the original ideas competition four finalists were chosen and the alternatives show stark contrasts in how things might have shaped up.
On this key date for one of the most crucial designs of this generation, we decided to look back at some of the most important competitions of the last century to see how things might have been different.
Images of Moshe Safdie's first New York project has been released. Planned to rise on a Manhattan site at West 30th Street, between Broadway and 5th Avenue, the 64-story mixed-use tower will feature a limestone base that compliments and serves its historic neighbor: the Marble Collegiate Church, one of the Collegiate Churches’ five ministries.
The building "will be distinguished by its vertical massing, which breaks down the scale of the tower into a series of three-story-high, offset projections," says Safdie Architects. "The offset projections also provide energy efficiency by self-shading the tower’s facade, further enhanced by additional sun shading at the south facade."
On September 24, the National Academy Museum will present a conversation on architecture between 2015 AIA Gold Medal Recipient Moshe Safdie and acclaimed architectural writer and critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. This public event—presented in conjunction with the National Academy Museum’s exhibition Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie (September 10, 2015 – January 10, 2016)—invites audiences to enjoy a spirited discussion on art, architecture, culture and context with two leaders in the field of architecture and architectural criticism.
Safdie Architects’ 2015 Research Fellowship will center on the theme of “dense urbanism,” and the ways in which the field of architecture can rethink its approach to vital issues such as materiality, construction, environmental conditions, and the demographic realities of rapidly growing populations. This year, Moshe Safdie and his team invite exceptional individuals to attack the challenges of the contemporary urban landscape head-on by proposing new tools and solutions to create a better functioning and humane city. Accepted candidates will spend one year in residence at Safdie Architects’ Boston office, during which they will receive support from the practice and have access to the firm’s resources and consultants.
During this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) held in Singapore, we had the chance to talk with keynote speaker Moshe Safdie. Standing inside the Marina Bay Sands, a massive mixed-use project by Safdie Architects and an example of the firm’s ongoing research on density, Safdie talked to us about Asia's urban environment and the challenges of working there. As the world's growth is happening in dense areas, this subject is utterly important, and Safdie has proven that these kind of mega-urbanism projects can be functionally integrated into the city. “Working in Asia at the intensity and scale that we do has been a paradigm shift for our practice because much of our work in the United States and Israel and elsewhere in recent years has been focused on institutions - on libraries, museums, airports - here we are involved with urban place, mixed-use mostly, extremely dense, working for the private sector, and having to reconcile the market forces with the architectural environmental demands, which is no mean task,” he said.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has just announced that Moshe Safdie, FAIA, will be the 2015 AIA Gold Medal recipient. Honoring him for his “comprehensive and humane approach to designing public and cultural spaces across the world has touched millions of people and influenced generations of younger architects,” the AIA believes that Safdie's work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.
“Moshe Safdie has continued to practice architecture in the purest and most complete sense of the word, without regard for fashion, with a hunger to follow ideals and ideas across the globe in his teaching, writing, practice and research,” stated Boston Society of Architects president Mike Davis in his nomination letter.
Nearly 50 years after realizing Habitat ’67, when the need for high quality affordable housing is at an all time high, Moshe Safdie is expanding on his ideas first explored in the stacked Montreal utopia to discover just how natural light and the feeling openness can be achieved in today’s megalopolises. Watch as Safdie makes a case to do away with the high-rise in the short TED Talk above.
Held annually in Singapore, the WAF annually recognizes the world's most amazing architecture projects (you can learn more here). They have announced an impressive line-up of prominent architects who will speak at the World Architecture Festival in October, including:
Are you feeling short on inspiration today? For a jump-start, try watching one of these twenty TED Talks – a follow-up to last year's post "The 10 Most Inspirational TED Talks for Architects." Wherever your interests lie, the passionate people featured in these videos - from WikiHouse founder Alastair Parvin to famed photographer Iwan Baan and architectural great Moshe Safdie - will get your creative juices flowing. See them all, after the break.