SiteBitsCitiesMontrealPlaces ⇒ Habitat 67

Habitat 67 - Montreal

Address: 2600 Avenue Pierre-Dupuy, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3R6
Web Site:
Category: Landmarks
Tags: Modern Architecture
People: Moshe Safdie

Commissioned by the city for World Expo 67, this groundbreaking housing complex by the then very young architect Moshe Safdie elicits contractictory emotions from Montreal visitors and residents alike. Some praise its unique concept which values privacy, access to the city center, versatile apartment layouts providing multiple exposures and a patch of green space (“everybody gets a rooftop garden!”), street-like configurations of the buildings’ hallways, and amazing views afforded by their location. Others criticize the stern, fortress-like look and point out that the project essentially failed as a stand-alone housing community (because of the unexpectedly high cost of engineering, the complex was only partially built, which precluded it from getting adequate services like grocery stores).

Two things are certain, however: one, nobody is indifferent (which is already good) and two, regardless of its aesthetic qualities (or the supposed lack threreof), the project is of the highest importance in urban architectural history.