“Not only revolutionary in its time, Habitat 67 has continued to influence architecture throughout the decades.” Arch Daily, 2013
Enchanting, fascinating and powerful
Habitat 67 has the stature of a historical landmark. Extravagant by its minimalism, its modernity and overall aesthetics, Habitat 67 is praised around the world. Emblematic, this building is a dominant element in the Montreal landscape, and seeks to reconcile quality of life and urban environment by rethinking living spaces.
Simplicity, modernity and stunning architecture
The modular unit is the base, the means and the finality of Habitat 67. 354 magnificent grey-beige modules are stacked one on another to form 148 residences, nestled between sky and earth, city and river, greenery and light. It all comes together in a gigantic sculpture of futuristic interiors, links, pedestrian streets and suspended terraces, aerial spaces, skylights of different angles, large esplanades and monumental elevator pillars. Habitat 67 is an invitation to contemplation.
A trailblazer and visionary
The architect behind Habitat 67 was able to create a captivating work, which keeps on inspiring nearly 50 years after its construction. The building was originally conceived as part of Moshe Safdie’s McGill University thesis. Created as part of Expo 67, Habitat 67 is a reflexion on function and the role of architecture in a high-density urban environment.
“Habitat 67 is the amazing accomplishment of Moshe Sadie’s youth. The principal quality of Moshe Safdie’s entire work is to confer to things a character of eternity. He puts emphasis on architecture’s daily life: the way spaces are used, the performance of the building in its climate, the real desires of future residents. In many ways, the essence of his work is a dichotomy: at the same time tearing and meditation between the universal and the specific, between the ideal and the real.’’
– Wendy Kohn. Moshe Safdie, Acadamy Editions, 1996.
Moshe Safdie’s very first project holds a special place for him, as it is still a source of inspiration to this day. Safdie has worked on several other buildings around the world following his success with Habitat 67.
The year 1967 was marked by social change, which fostered the emergence of a new openness to the world. It was a year where freedom of speech truly took on its full meaning—a mystical, inspiring, unifying and effervescent year.
Expo 67, one of the largest world fairs, was held in Montreal. Within the spirit of liberalization and openness that characterized this period, the exhibition was entitled “Man and his World” after Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s masterpiece. Housing was one of the main themes of Expo 67. Saint-Exupéry wrote: “We have to make lively this new house that doesn’t have a face yet. The truth for one was to build; it is, for the other, to occupy it.” Habitat 67 became a thematic pavilion admired by thousands of visitors from all around the world, on top of being the temporary residence of many dignitaries visiting Montreal.
This world exhibition featured architectural prowess from around the world. A notorious showcase for architecture, graphic and industrial design, Expo 67 was host to a burst of creativity, materializing in every pavilion, each one more breathtaking than the last.
Habitat 67 is a historic monument recognized around the world. This emblematic building, a favourite for photographers, had significant press coverage and caused a lot of ink to flow, both locally and internationally. Habitat 67’s architectural beauty makes it a perfect setting for photoshoots and films.