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Safdie, Moshe

Safdie, Moshe (1938– ). Israeli-Canadian architect. He worked (1962–3) with L. I. Kahn before setting up his own practice in Montréal, Canada, in 1964. He established his reputation with the ‘Habitat’ housing-scheme at Expo 67, Montréal, in which the parts were given expression and composed like a pile of building-blocks to form the whole. The antithesis of the Corbusian insistence on slab-like forms, it drew on Mediterranean vernacular architecture to create a new paradigmatic megastructure built of prefabricated parts. His subsequent works also explored vernacular elements (e.g. the Habitat for San Juan, Puerto Rico (1968–72)). He designed (with Parkin Associates) the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1993–8). Among his other works may be mentioned the Hebrew Union College Campus (1972–8); the Children's Holocaust Memorial (1976–87) and Holocaust Transport Memorial (1994—featur-ing a railway-wagon used to carry Jews to their deaths), both at Vad Vashem, and the Mamilla Centre (1975–96), all in Jerusalem; the Museum of Civilization, Québec, Canada (1981–6); an extension to the Montréal Museum (1987–92); the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA (1985–95); the Rosovsky Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1991–4); the Library Square and Federal Tower, Vancouver, Canada (1992–5); and the new town of Modi, Israel (from 1989). Among his publications may be mentioned Beyond Habitat (1970), For Everyone a Garden (1974), Form and Purpose (1982), and Jerusalem: The Future of the Past (1989).

Bibliography

Drew (1972);
Kalman (1994);
Heathcote (1999);
Kalman (1994);
Kohn (ed.) (1996);
Zantovska Mu (ed.) (1996)

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Safdie, Moshe

Moshe Safdie (mōshā´ säf´dē), 1938–, Israeli-Canadian architect, b. Haifa. He grew up in Israel, moved to Canada with his family at 15, studied architecture at McGill Univ. and with Louis Kahn, and later opened an office in Montreal. Safdie attracted early acclaim as the designer of Montreal's revolutionary "Habitat" for Expo 67, a housing system based on prefabricated modules stacked around prefabricated or site-built utility cores (see prefabrication). Safdie designed Habitats for San Juan (1968–72), Tehran (1977), and other cities, but only the Montreal complex was built. His many later commissions include the Museum of Civilization, Quebec City (1984); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1984); Vancouver Library Square (1995); Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles (1996); Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. (2003); Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo. (2011); and Crystal Bridges museum, Bentonville, Ark. (2011). In Jerusalem, where he also maintains an office, his buildings include the Bronfman Amphitheater (1982), Yad Vashem Children's Holocaust Memorial (1987), and Hebrew Union College (1989). Safdie is the author of Beyond Habitat (1970, repr. 1987) and several other books.

See W. Kohn et al., ed., Moshe Safdie (1996); I. Z. Murray et al., ed., Moshe Safdie: Buildings and Projects, 1967–1992 (1996).

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