Moshe Safdie, "On Invention and Fitness"


Moshe Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist, and author who embraces a comprehensive and humane design philosophy. Safdie is committed to architecture that supports and enhances a project’s program; that is informed by the geographic, social, and cultural elements that define a place; and that responds to human needs and aspirations. Major projects by Moshe Safdie currently under construction or recently completed include Mamilla Alrov Center, a 40-acre development that runs contiguous with the Old City in Jerusalem; Marina Bay Sands, a mixed-use integrated resort in Singapore; Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex, the national museum of the Sikh people in India; the United States Institute of Peace Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas; and Golden Dream Bay, a residential and retail complex in Qinhuangdao, China. Safdie has designed and realized a wide range of projects around the world, including cultural, civic and educational institutions; mixed-use urban centers and airports; and master plans for existing neighborhoods and entirely new cities. Many of his buildings have become beloved regional and national landmarks, including Habitat ’67, Montreal, Canada; Exploration Place Science Center, Wichita, Kansas; Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts; Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California; the National Gallery of Canada; and Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem, Israel. In 1978, after teaching at Yale, Safdie relocated his residence and principle office to Boston, where he also served as the Director of the Urban Design Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and subsequently was the Ian Woodner Professor of Architecture and Urban Design. In addition to numerous articles on the theory and practice of architecture, Safdie has written several books, most notably: Beyond Habitat (1970), For Everyone a Garden (1974),Form and Purpose (1982), Jerusalem: The Future of the Past (1989), and The City After the Automobile (1997). Moshe Safdie II, a second monograph of his work, was published in 2009.Based in Boston with offices in Toronto, Jerusalem and Singapore, Safdie has been the recipient of numerous awards, honorary degrees, and civil honors, including the Companion of the Order of Canada and the Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

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