Safdie, Moshe

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Safdie, Moshe

Moshe Safdie (mōshā´ säf´dē), 1938–, Israeli-Canadian architect, b. Haifa. He grew up in Israel, moved to Canada with his family at 15, studied architecture at McGill Univ. and with Louis Kahn, and later opened an office in Montreal. Safdie attracted early acclaim as the designer of Montreal's revolutionary "Habitat" for Expo 67, a housing system based on prefabricated modules stacked around prefabricated or site-built utility cores (see prefabrication). Safdie designed Habitats for San Juan (1968–72), Tehran (1977), and other cities, but only the Montreal complex was built. His many later commissions include the Museum of Civilization, Quebec City (1984); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1984); Vancouver Library Square (1995); Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles (1996); Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. (2003); Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo. (2011); and Crystal Bridges museum, Bentonville, Ark. (2011). In Jerusalem, where he also maintains an office, his buildings include the Bronfman Amphitheater (1982), Yad Vashem Children's Holocaust Memorial (1987), and Hebrew Union College (1989). Safdie is the author of Beyond Habitat (1970, repr. 1987) and several other books.

See W. Kohn et al., ed., Moshe Safdie (1996); I. Z. Murray et al., ed., Moshe Safdie: Buildings and Projects, 1967–1992 (1996).

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