Believe it or not, Moshe Safdie's iconic Habitat '67 will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) is hosting a special exhibition called “Habitat '67: The Shape of Things to Come”, opening on June 1 at the university's Centre de Design.
The iconic landmark, which is a designated Canadian National Heritage Site, began as Safdie's thesis project at McGill University. He was then commissioned by the Canadian government, the province of Quebec, and the city of Montreal to design the structure for the 1967 World Exposition. Fifty years later, the pioneering building remains an influential icon of Expo '67 and a milestone of Canada's architectural heritage.
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Organized by Safdie Architects and UQAM's Centre de Design with curatorial direction from Donald Albrecht, the exhibition looks back at how Moshe Safdie has applied the design principles and ideologies from Habitat '67 in all his projects since then.
The exhibition will showcase archival images and objects from the project's origins, including conceptual drawings, models, and unbuilt iterations of Habitat 67 that Safdie later designed for New York, Puerto Rico, and Israel. It will also include models and photos of several of the firm's recent projects around the world, including several never-before-seen projects that will make their public debut.
The exhibition also features a presentation of “Habitat for the Future,” which reimagines building Habitat '67 for the present day. The presentation will show a series of models and renderings developed by a team of architects who were involved in a two-year research fellowship collaborating with Moshe Safdie and principals from Safdie Architects.
“Habitat 67 is more than just Montreal’s favorite building – it’s one of the most important architectural constructions of our time,” says UQAM Centre de Design director Patrick Evans. “Its great promise, to industrialize and democratize modern, high density, humanist housing throughout the world stands as one of the most ambitious endeavors of the previous century.”
Before the opening reception, UQAM will host a free Moshe Safdie lecture on May 31 at 5:30 p.m. at the Salle Pierre-Mercure of Centre Pierre-Péladeau in Montreal. The exhibition opening will then take place at the Centre de Design at 7:00 p.m. (by invitation only), and will be on public display until August 13. Admission is free!
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