Moshe Safdie, “On Invention and Fitness”

Moshe Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist, and author who embraces acomprehensive and humane design philosophy. Safdie is committed to architecture thatsupports and enhances a project’s program; that is informed by the geographic, social, andcultural elements that define a place; and that responds to human needs and aspirations. Major projects by Moshe Safdie currently under construction or recently completed includeMamilla Alrov Center, a 40-acre development that runs contiguous with the Old City inJerusalem; Marina Bay Sands, a mixed-use integrated resort in Singapore; Khalsa HeritageMemorial Complex, the national museum of the Sikh people in India; the United States Instituteof Peace Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts inKansas City, Missouri; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas; andGolden 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 forexisting neighborhoods and entirely new cities. Many of his buildings have become belovedregional and national landmarks, including Habitat ’67, Montreal, Canada; Exploration PlaceScience Center, Wichita, Kansas; Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; PeabodyEssex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts; Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California; theNational 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 UniversityGraduate 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 theAutomobile (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 recipientof numerous awards, honorary degrees, and civil honors, including the Companion of the Orderof Canada and the Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
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Photo: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Bentonville, Arkansas, US. © Timothy Hursley

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