MOSHE SAFTIE: HABITAT 67 MONTREAL

MOSHE SAFTIE: HABITAT 67 MONTREAL

Habitat ’67 – Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie received an invitation from me to speak to my students studying design in the early 80’s. Due to time restraints, he wrote a lovely letter of refusal. One of my constituents and good friend asked me to do a blog about Mr. Safdie. It is my pleasure to accept her invitation to write about a favorite architect.
The design, “Habitat 67” was an early invention of Mr. Safdie. Multifamily concrete stacked modular units, it was a study in people placement and the practical use of space. He designed the buildings in 1967 for the Montreal Exposition. Although, someone I know who visited the Exposition, experienced the architecture and found it “cold.” Still it was an excellent example of industrially produced modular housing. The design showcased construction techniques unheard of at the time.
In March, 2009, Habitat 67 received the classification of a historic monument.

According to “e-architect”, Habitat 67 began life as a master’s thesis project prepared in 1961 by Mr. Safdie, then an architecture student at McGill University. He came up with the idea of a high density apartment building that would provide residents with privacy as well as peace and quiet. He was invited to develop his idea for Expo 67 and did so alongside engineer August E. Komendant. By the time the universal exhibition came round, the project was partially completed, and 26 apartments were reserved for the Expo. The housing complex had 354 prefabricated units, initially forming 158 one or two story apartments with one to four bedrooms. The apartments were divided into three pyramids.  Each apartment featured a landscaped garden built on the roof of the level below. Follow the link to check out this exciting property.  Waterfront property and tennis courts.

Mr Safdie established his architectural practice in 1964  in Montreal to design and supervise the construction of Habitat 67. Today the principal office is in Boston, Massachusetts with branch offices in Jerusalem, Toronto, and Singapore. The international practice provides a full range of urban planning, architectural and interior design services. Activities range from the design of public institutions-including museums, performing arts centers, libraries, and university campuses-to the design of airports. housing, mixed-use complexes, and new communities.

Below is a sample of his current innovative work.

Marina Bay Sands Moshe Safdie, Singapore

Marina-Bay-Sands-Architecture–Moshe-Safdie-Singapore-yatzer_13.jpg

Luxury hotel, Marina Bay Sands recently opened the doors of its microcosm to the public and has already wowed tourists with its unique and luxurious design. Up at the top, a pool for your swimming pleasure.

The Marina Bay Sands hotel is located in Singapore has been designed with one goal in mind, to be the leading business, leisure and entertainment destination in Asia. It holds the title of the most expensive hotel built till this day, as its investment by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation reaches $5 billion. The Marina Bay Sands hotel is a mixed-use integrated resort with 2,560-rooms, three 55-storey towers, a 150-meters infinity pool on top of the towers, an indoor canal, a museum shaped like a lotus flower, the best shopping mall in Asia and world-class celebrity chef restaurants.  Furthermore, it includes theatres, an outdoor event plaza, a convention center and a casino with private gaming rooms for premium players.

If you wanted apartment living, waterfront, with all the luxuries and amenities, would Habitat interest you? Or do you prefer the kind of living that affords more privacy?

Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to you all. I will be back in two weeks.

 

 

MOVERS & SHAKERS

MOVERS & SHAKERS

I feel the earth move under my feet, I feel the sky tumbling down whenever they’re around. All those fantastic movers and shakers changing lives, changing chairs, changing toys and changing history. All those folks we have been talking about in my blogs: Queen Victoria with her long reign in the 19th century, the Bauhaus school in the early 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright in the mid 20th century,

Pixar Cars

Steve Jobs of Apple and Pixar in the late 20th and to date only to name a few free thinkers.

Where would we be today without these creative thinkers? I suppose we would not know the difference. We can’t miss what we never knew. But we stand watch as they shake us around and push forward to new exciting innovative technology. What next?

We all subscribe to public domains to chit chat and contact others. You know: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin. The public plays all over the internet while big brother is watching. George Orwell in his 1949 book “1984” was right about big brother. Big brother IS watching you. Orwell was a little early in his prediction. But rest assured the major minds were already working on the technology we have today.

Technology Overload

Are we on technology overload and who is big brother? Do you believe you are being watched? How do you feel about this eye on you everyday, all day, all night? Are you participating in the public domains where everyone knows who you are? What changes have you made in your life with all the technology? Is life easier?

GRAND STAND

GRAND STAND

Bauhaus Art by the group at the school

The Grand Stand of design happened in the early 20th century. The guilty? The Bauhaus. So, what came before? Gradual economic and social changes in the 18th and 19th century caused by the Industrial Revolution. Because of those events, the  Bauhaus, a school of different ways of thinking, changed how we viewed and developed art and technology. We are talking about, let’s say for an art example, a painting, and for technology, the Bauhaus balconies or a chair or a teapot and more stuff than you can imagine.

László Moholy-Nagy
‘Bauhaus Balconies’
1926
Silver gelatin photograph

The idea for the school was the gestalt of a learning atmosphere for all, the teacher, the student, and the creator. They all were involved with the process. Triggered by 19th century technological-industrial development, there was no gap between artistic conception and realization. It became easier to design and develop because everyone worked together.

Bauhaus "Wassily" Chair by Marcel Breuer

For example, another member of the staff at the Bauhaus, Marcel Breuer, looked at the tubular form of the bicycle handlebars and made a chair using the concept. No, it wasn’t a chair with pedals. It was a chair with tubular steel supports.

Wassily Chair
Designed by Marcel Breuer, produced by Knoll®
In spirit and stature, Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair (1925) from Knoll has few equals. Believed to be the first bent tubular steel chair design, the Wassily Chair distills the traditional club chair to a series of strong, spare lines, executed with dynamic material counterpoint. The gleaming chrome-finished tubular steel frame, inspired by the graceful, curving handlebars of the Adler bicycle, is seamless in its assemblage. Thick cowhide leather slings create the design’s seating surfaces, which maintain their crisp tautness for decades. Named for Wassily Kandinsky, the father of abstract painting and a colleague of Breuer’s at the Bauhaus, the Wassily Chair is a symbol of the industrial heroism and engineering invention of the early 20th century. Made in Italy, each piece is stamped with the KnollStudio logo and the designer’s signature. The Wassily Chair is a registered trademark of Knoll, Inc., manufactured by Knoll according to the original and exacting specifications of the designer. The outcome of the grand stand school of design, the Bauhaus.

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