Habitat 67

Habitat 67, or simply Habitat, is a housing complex at Cité du Havre, on the Saint Lawrence River, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, designed by Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. It originated in his master's thesis at the School of Architecture at McGill University and then an amended version was built for Expo 67, a World's Fair held from April to October 1967. Its address is 2600 Avenue Pierre-Dupuy, next to the Marc-Drouin Quay. Habitat 67 is considered an architectural landmark and a recognized building in Montreal.

 Inside the complex: a semi-covered walkway connecting two sections of units.

Safdie's design for Habitat 67 began as a thesis project for his architecture program at McGill University. It was "highly recognized" at the institution, though Safdie cites its failure to win the Pilkington Prize, an award for the best thesis at Canadian schools of architecture, as early evidence of its controversial nature.[1] After leaving to work with Louis Kahn in Philadelphia, Safdie was approached by Sandy van Ginkel, his former thesis advisor, to develop the master plan for Expo 67, the world's fair that was set to take place in Montreal during 1967. Safdie decided to propose his thesis as one of the pavilions and began developing his plan.[1] After the plans were approved in Ottawa by Mitchell Sharp, the federal cabinet minister responsible for the exhibition, and Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, Safdie was given the blessing of the Expo 67 Director of Installations, Edward Churchill, to leave the planning committee in order to work on the building project as an independent architect.[1] The construction was done by Anglin-Norcross Ltd. of Montreal.[2] Safdie was awarded the project in spite of his relative youth and inexperience, an opportunity he later described as "a fairy tale, an amazing fairy tale."[1]

The original plans called for 1,200 homes at a cost of $45 million.[3] However, Safdie could only secure funding for a much reduced construction. This smaller development (about CA$22.4 million)[4][5] was financed by the federal government, but is now owned by its tenants, who formed a limited partnership that purchased the building from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in 1985.

Safdie now owns Blake Gopnik's childhood penthouse apartment (units 1011 and 1012) as his Montreal pied-a-terre.[6][5][7][8]

 Habitat 67's interlocking forms, connected walkways and landscaped terraces were key in achieving Safdie's goal of a private and natural environment within the limits of a dense urban space.
^ a b c d Wachtel, Eleanor (2008). "Moshe Safdie, Architect (interview)". Queen's Quarterly. 115 (2): 199–219. ISSN 0033-6041. ^ "Habitat 67" (PDF). ^ Walsh, Niall Patrick (2023-05-17). "Habitat 67's original vision recreated in Unreal Engine by Safdie Architects, Epic Games, and Neoscape". Archinect. Retrieved 2023-05-17. ^ Desson, Craig (September 2, 2019). "How Montreal's Habitat 67 is inspiring a new generation of apartments in Asia". CBC News. Retrieved 25 June 2022. ^ a b "Habitat 67". Project of the Month. Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute. May 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2022. ^ Gendall, John (21 June 2017). "What It Was Like to Live Inside Habitat 67". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 25 June 2022. ^ "For Everyone a Garden | The Walrus". 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2022-08-01. ^ Safdie, Moshe (August 22, 2011). "Moshe Safdie; NFL team Owners Jerry Richardson & Jerry Jones". Charlie Rose (Interview). Interviewed by Charlie Rose. Archived from the original on November 1, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
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