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.
The Israeli-born, Canadian and American architect, best known for his stacked Habitat ’67 apartments in Montreal, was first mentored by the great Louis Kahn (also an AIA Gold Medalist). Since, he has served as an educator, most notably the director of Harvard GSD's urban design program from 1978-84, and has establish offices in Boston, Jerusalem and Shanghai.
Some of his most notable projects include the Mamilla Center and Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, the Punjab Khalsa Heritage Center, and Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore. Most recently, Safdie unveiled plans to construct a massive glass “air hub” for Singapore’s Changi Airport.
Safdie is the 71st AIA Gold Medalist. He joins the ranks of such visionaries as Thomas Jefferson (1993), Frank Lloyd Wright (1949), Louis Sullivan (1944), Le Corbusier (1961), Louis I. Kahn (1971), I.M. Pei (1979), Steven Holl (2012), Thom Mayne (2013), and Julia Morgan (2014). In recognition of his legacy to architecture, his name will be chiseled into the granite Wall of Honor in the lobby of the AIA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Safdie will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta.