Moshe Safdie has been announced as the 2015 recipient of the AIA Gold Medal. Voted on annually, the AIA Gold Medal is regarded as the architecture profession's highest honor given to an individual. The medal honors an individual's exceptional body of work that has made a lasting impact on architectural practice and theory.
Safdie will receive the Gold Medal during the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
Learn more about Safdie and some of his works below.
"Born in Haifa, Israel in 1938, Safdie moved with his family to Montreal in 1953. He studied architecture at McGill University, and after graduation worked with AIA Gold Medalist Louis Kahn, FAIA, in Philadelphia. He returned to Montreal to work on Habitat ’67, for Montreal’s 1967 World’s Fair, which consisted of a series of 158 stacked and terraced apartments."
"Safdie then began a series of teaching posts that culminated with his appointment as the director of the urban design program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design from 1978-84. Since 1978, Safdie has been based in Boston while remaining a citizen of Israel, Canada, and the United States. Safdie established a Jerusalem office in 1970 and another in Shanghai in 2011."
"In Israel, his Mamilla Center blends in contextually and materially with a 19th century Jerusalem neighborhood, offering people range of dynamic gathering spaces and enhancing the contemporary urban experience. In Punjab, India, his design for the Khalsa Heritage Centre (a museum of Sikh history and culture) shows visitors an elemental juxtaposition of stone and concrete with water. The building is made up of a rich mix of orthogonal geometry and curvilinear forms, organic and flowing in some places and rigid and rational in others. This mixture alludes to the primeval determination the earliest builders felt when they conspired to put together posts, lintels and right angles in defiant opposition to gravity, and also the natural world they struggled to endure against."
"The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., an idyllic village of copper-clad shells containing American art. This village of forms creates a series of dams and bridges over a reservoir fed by nearby Crystal Springs, intimately revealing the natural landscape and huddling around the water like a group of timeworn river stones."
"Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is a high-density urban district that serves as a gateway to Singapore, anchors the Singapore waterfront, and provides a dynamic setting for a vibrant public life. The project’s most dramatic feature is the 3-acre SkyPark, which connects the hotel’s three 55-storey towers at the top, spanning from tower to tower and cantilevering 213 feet beyond. Its mixed-use program (theater, museum, hotel, convention center) makes it nearly a city unto itself."
"The Salt Lake City Main Public Library, a triangular glass library intersected by a crescent-shaped wall which forms an urban room and leads visitors up to an observation deck with views of the nearby Wasatch Mountains. The transparency offered by the glass library volume and the gracefully arcing wall and public space it forms evokes a dramatic contrast of enclosure and openness."
"The Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, a concrete prism carved into Mt. Herzl that takes visitors on a linear, narrative journey that explores the individual identities of Holocaust victims, finally giving way to an observation deck with broad views of Jerusalem below, symbolizing the collective future of the Jewish people."
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