Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie exhibition opens in Boston

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 3.52.14 PMOpening on March 16 and running until May 22, 2016, a major retrospective explores the work of international architect and 2015 AIA Gold Medal–winner Moshe Safdie. Tracing the trajectory of Safdie’s more than 50-year career, Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie investigates Safdie’s evolving design philosophy and pioneering contributions to the field of architecture through a presentation of models, drawings, films, and photography from more than 30 Safdie Architects projects.

The show focuses on pivotal points in the development of Safdie’s design philosophy, “progressive contextualism”—the belief that a building should be an extension of its physical, historical, and cultural environments. Organized into five sections, the exhibition examines Safdie’s formative years as an undergraduate and the launch of his practice in 1964; the establishment of a branch office and work across Jerusalem in the 1970s; a period of major institutional commissions across North America throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s; a more recent phase of diverse commissions in new global centers in India, Singapore, and China; and examples of his firm’s current mega-scale work confronting the challenges of dense urbanism around the world.

Curated by Donald Albrecht, in coordination with local firm NADAAA and Safdie Architects, the exhibition will include large-scale models of built, unbuilt, and in-process projects from throughout the firm’s history, as well as materials from the recent Habitat of the Future Research Fellowship and a 21st-century reimagining of Montreal’s Habitat ’67, the revolutionary housing complex that launched Safdie’s career. Global Citizen will be on view at BSA Space through May 22, 2016.

An international architectural and urban planning practice, Safdie Architects is based in Somerville, Massachusetts, with offices in Jerusalem, Toronto, Singapore, and Shanghai. “We are delighted to have Global Citizen exhibited in our hometown of Boston, a city we have called home for the last 36 years,” says Safdie. “We are particularly happy that it is at BSA Space where we can share our work across the globe with our Boston colleagues.”

“Throughout his career, Moshe has consistently confronted the challenges of urban life with solutions that create livable spaces, connecting the public to nature and their community,” says exhibition curator Albrecht, who also coauthored the catalog that accompanies the exhibition. “From Habitat ’67 to his current work with skyscrapers around the world, Moshe creates buildings that add to their environment and enhance visitor and residential experience. Global Citizen demonstrates his diverse portfolio of projects that range vastly in size, scope, and purpose, but share his underlying design philosophy that connect the building to its surroundings.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Global Citizen at BSA Space, the first exhibition in a series of shows celebrating seminal firms with roots in Boston,” says 2016 BSA president Tamara Roy AIA. “Safdie’s office has made a lasting impact on our local and regional architectural and civic community, and this exhibition will be a testament to an impressive body of work.”

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