Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie
Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie
Born July 14, 1938 (1938-07-14) (age 73)
Haifa, British Mandate of Palestine
Nationality Israeli/Canadian/American
Awards Order of Canada
Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Practice Safdie Architects
Buildings Habitat 67, Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum, Salt Lake City Main Public Library

Moshe Safdie, CC, FAIA (born July 14, 1938) is an architect, urban designer, educator, theorist, and author. Born in the city of Haifa, then Palestine and now Israel, he moved with his family to Montreal, Canada, when he was 15 years old.



Safdie graduated from McGill University, with a degree in architecture, in 1961. After apprenticing with Louis Kahn in Philadelphia, he returned to Montreal to oversee the master plan for Expo '67. In 1964, he established his own firm to undertake Habitat '67, an adaptation of his McGill thesis. Habitat '67, which pioneered the design and implementation of three-dimensional, prefabricated units for living, was a central feature of Expo '67 and an important development in architectural history. He was awarded the 1967 Construction Man of the Year Award from the Engineering News Record and the Massey Medal for Architecture in Canada for Habitat '67.[1]

In 1970, Safdie opened a branch office in Jerusalem, starting an involvement with the rebuilding of that city that eventually included the Yitzhak Rabin Center and the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum. In 1978, after teaching at McGill, Ben Gurion, and Yale universities, Safdie moved his main office to Boston and became director of the Urban Design Program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, until 1984. From 1984 to 1989, he was the Ian Woodner Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Harvard. Since the early 1990s, Safdie, a citizen of Canada, Israel, and the United States, has focused on his architectural practice, Safdie Architects, which is based in Boston and has branches in Toronto, Jerusalem, and Singapore. In that time, Safdie has designed six of Canada's principal public institutions as well as many other notable projects around the world, including the Salt Lake City Main Public Library, the Khalsa Heritage Centre in India, the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort in Singapore, the United States Institute of Peace headquarters in Washington, DC, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Personal life

Safdie married his first wife, Nina Nusynowicz, in 1959. The couple had a daughter, Taal, in 1961, and a son, Oren, in 1965. His son Oren is a playwright, based in California and Canada. His daughter Taal is an architect in San Diego, and partner of the husband-wife firm Safdie Rabines Architects. In 1981, Safdie married Michal Ronnen, a photographer, with whom he has two daughters, Carmelle and Yasmin. Carmelle Safdie is an artist, and Yasmin Safdie is a social worker.

Selected architectural projects

Moshe Safdie's works are known for their dramatic curves, arrays of geometric patterns, use of windows, and key placement of open and green spaces. His writings and designs stress the need to create meaningful, vital, and inclusive spaces that enhance community, with special attention to the essence of a particular locale, geography, and culture.



  • Beyond Habitat (1970)
  • For Everyone A Garden (1974)
  • Form & Purpose (1982)
  • Beyond Habitat by 20 Years (1987)
  • Jerusalem: The Future of the Past (1989)
  • The City After the Automobile: An Architect's Vision (1998) [1]
  • Yad Vashem - The Architecture of Memory (2006)[2]


  • Moshe Safdie Volume I (1st edition 1996/2nd edition 2009) [3]
  • Moshe Safdie Volume II (2009) [4]
  • Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie (2010)

Selected awards

  • Companion of the Order of Canada
  • Gold Medal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
  • Richard Neutra Award for Professional Excellence
  • Mt. Scopus Award for Humanitarianism, Jerusalem


  1. ^ Pound, Richard W. (2005). 'Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates'. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Peabody Essex Museum

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Moshe Safdie — Musée des beaux arts du Canada à Ottawa Moshe Safdie né à Haifa en Palestine mandataire le 14 juillet 1938 est un architecte et urbaniste. Il a étudié à l Université McGill …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Moshe Safdie — Mosche Safdie (hebräisch ‏משה ספדיה‎, * 14. Juli 1938 in Haifa (heute Israel)) ist ein Architekt und Städtebauer. Als Jugendlicher zog er mit seiner Familie nach Montréal, Kanada, ein Schritt, der ihm missfiel, da er Zionist und Sozialist war.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • SAFDIE, SYLVIA — (1942– ), artist. The daughter of Leon and Rachel (Essen) Safdie, Sylvia Safdie was born in Aley ( Aleih), near beirut , Lebanon, into an artistic and literary family. Her brother Moshe safdie (1938– ) is a renowned architect. Her brother GABRIEL …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • SAFDIE, Moshe — (1938 )    After World War II, the need for inexpensive urban housing created innovative apartment designs based on the utopian urban ideals of Le Corbusier. Most of these urban apartment buildings were constructed using raw concrete formed in… …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • SAFDIE, MOSHE — (1938– ), architect and urban designer. Safdie was born in Haifa. A youthful Zionist and socialist, he was dismayed when his family relocated to Montreal when he was 15. He graduated in architecture at McGill University in 1961 before moving to… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Safdie —   [ sæfdɪ], Moshe, kanadischer Architekt israelischer Herkunft, * Haifa 14. 7. 1938; eröffnete 1964 ein Büro in Montreal. 1979 wurde er Professor an der Harvard University School of Design. Safdie baute für die Weltausstellung 1967 in Montreal… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Safdie — Mosche Safdie (hebräisch ‏משה ספדיה‎, * 14. Juli 1938 in Haifa (heute Israel)) ist ein Architekt und Städtebauer. Als Jugendlicher zog er mit seiner Familie nach Montréal, Kanada, ein Schritt, der ihm missfiel, da er Zionist und Sozialist war.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Safdie, Moshe — born July 14, 1938, Haifa, Palestine Israeli Canadian architect. Educated at McGill University School of Architecture, Montreal, he began his career in the offices of Louis Kahn. His Habitat 67 was a bold experiment in prefabricated housing using …   Universalium

  • Safdie, Moshe — (1938 )    World renowned architect, he was born in Haifa and educated and trained in North America. He established a name for himself as the creator of Habitat 67 at the 1967 World s Fair Exposition in Montreal. He opened an office in Jerusalem… …   Historical Dictionary of Israel

  • Safdie, Moshe — (n. 14 jul. 1938, Haifa, Palestina). Arquitecto israelí–canadiense. Formado en el colegio de arquitectos de la Universidad de McGill, en Montreal, comenzó su carrera en las oficinas de Louis Kahn. Su Hábitat 67, donde usó unidades modulares, fue… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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