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Moshe Safdie
Moshe Safdie.jpg
Moshe Safdie
Personal information
Name Moshe Safdie
Nationality Israeli/Canadian/American
Birth date July 14, 1938 (1938-07-14) (age 71)
Birth place Haifa, British Mandate of Palestine
Alma mater McGill University 1961
Practice Moshe Safdie and Associates
Buildings Habitat 67, Vancouver Public Library
Awards Order of Canada
Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Vancouver Library Square is one of Safdie's most recent Canadian commissions, and one of his most popular
Model of the Marina Bay Sands
The Children's Monument at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem designed by architect Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie, CC, FAIA (born July 14, 1938) is an architect and urban designer. He was born in the city of Haifa, British Mandate for Palestine. He moved with his family to Montreal, Canada when he was 15 years old.



An excellent student, he studied architecture at McGill University and apprenticed under Louis Kahn in Philadelphia. At age 24, his master's thesis was selected to be constructed as part of the Expo 67 celebration. The Habitat 67 project, a complex of cellular residences that could be lifted into place like Lego blocks, propelled him onto the world stage. In 1967, he returned to Israel, where he was part of the team that refurnished Old Jerusalem. He now resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has Canadian, Israeli, and United States citizenship.

In 1978, he became Director of the Urban Design Program and the Ian Woodner Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His company, Moshe Safdie and Associates, Inc. is based out of Somerville, Massachusetts with branch offices in Toronto and Jerusalem.

His son Oren Safdie is a playwright.

His daughter Taal, is an architect in San Diego, and partner of the husband-wife firm, Safdie Rabines Architects.

His nephew is Dov Charney, founder of the clothing company American Apparel.

Architectural projects

Moshe Safdie's works are known for their dramatic curves, arrays of simple geometric patterns, and usage of windows and open spaces.




  • 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]


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Moshe Safdie (born July 14, 1938) is an Israeli-Canadian architect.


  • "When I got my first commission after Habitat, for a few weeks I couldn't draw."
    • CBC television interview, used for many years in CBC Montreal's sign-on montage

"Beauty" a poem written by Moshe Safdie in concluding his book Form and Purpose:

He who seeks Truth
Shall find Beauty

He who seeks Beauty
Shall find Vanity

He who seeks Order
Shall find Gratification

He who seeks Gratification
Shall be Disappointed

He who considers himself as the servant of his fellow being
Shall find the joy of Self-Expression

He who seeks Self-Expression
Shall fall into the pit of Arrogance

Arrogance is incompatible with nature
Thru the nature of the universe
and the nature of man
we shall seek Truth

If we seek truth we shall find Beauty

-from TED Talks. I don't know how to properly source this for wikiquote. Please help

Inherent buildability

"Architecture is not about building the impossible, which we can do if we have enough money and enough tools and enough computers, it is about building what is appropriate and about attaining beauty through such an approach. I describe this premise as "inherent buildability and I believe it is central to what I do."

- from lecture Megascale, Order and Complexity held in Emmertal, Germany on July 27, 2008


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