Christine St-Pierre, Quebec’s Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, today announced the classification of Habitat 67 in Montreal, Canada as a historic monument. Units 1011 and 1012, which are owned by architect and designer Moshe Safdie, were also classified. Mr. Safdie was present at the announcement.
â€œHabitat 67 was showered with praise from the day it was created. Specialists and the uninitiated alike were won over by its original, bold design, which showcased construction techniques unheard of at the time,â€ said St-Pierre. â€œI am very proud to announce the classification of this unique architecture. It is a fine example of modern heritage and will henceforth be classified under the Cultural Property Act.â€
â€œI am very moved and honored that Habitat 67 has been classified as a historic monument,â€ stated Mr. Safdie, â€œthe greatest pleasure for an architect is to see the creation alive, as a thriving community, 42 years later.â€
Habitat 67 began life as a masterâ€™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. Dwellings had a molded plastic bathroom and a modular kitchen that are still incredibly modern even by todayâ€™s standards.
Images: Office of the Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women Quebec
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