Moshe Safdie is a leading architect, urban planner, theorist, educator, and author. Embracing a comprehensive and humane design philosophy, Safdie has been a visionary force in architecture and urban planning and design for over forty years. He 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.
Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1938, Moshe Safdie moved to Canada with his family at age 15. He graduated from McGill University in 1961 with a degree in architecture. After apprenticing with Louis I. Kahn in Philadelphia, Safdie returned to Montreal to oversee the master plan for the 1967 World Exhibition and realized Habitat ’67, an adaptation of his thesis at McGill; this central feature of the World’s Fair became a pioneering example of prefabricated housing and launched the 29-year-old Safdie on his illustrious career.
In 1970, Safdie established a Jerusalem branch office and was responsible for major segments of the restoration of the Old City of Jerusalem and, over the years, the new city of Modi’in, the new Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the Rabin Memorial Center. During this period, Safdie also became involved in the developing world, working in Senegal, Iran and Singapore.
Over the years, Safdie has completed a wide range of projects, including cultural, educational, and civic institutions; neighborhoods and public parks; mixed-use urban centers and airports; and master plans for existing communities and entirely new cities.
In Canada, he has left his mark in Quebec City (Musée de la civilisation), Montreal (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts), Ottawa (National Gallery of Canada and City Hall), Toronto (Pearson International Airport) and Vancouver (Library Square).
Safdie currently has major projects under construction in the U.S., Jerusalem, and India. His residence and principal office are located in Boston, Massachusetts.