Moshe Safdie gifts professional archive to McGill University

Moshe Safdie has donated his professional archive and personal apartment at Habitat 67 to his alma mater.

Moshe Safdie has donated his professional archive to his alma mater, McGill University, and pledged his personal apartment at Habitat 67 to ensure that it remains a resource for the University, and the public at large.

“I have always valued the great education I received at McGill that has guided me through my professional life. Moreover, Canada has embraced and supported me, making possible the realization of several seminal projects. It is therefore fitting that McGill, Quebec, and Canada will be the home of my life’s work,” says Safdie.The archive features over 100,000 pieces, including loose sketches, sketchbooks, models, drawings, and correspondence related to unbuilt and built projects across the globe.

The original model and master copy of  Safdie’s McGill undergraduate thesis, ‘A Case for City Living’, which inspired his design for the Habitat 67 residence, is also included.

Sketches of Habitat ’67 as built.

Safdie’s personal apartment at the Habitat 67 housing complex will be the centerpiece  of the archive. The four-module duplex unit will serve as a resource for scholarly research, artist-in-residence programs, exhibitions, and symposia, thereby expanding the impact of the collection.

Fondation Habitat 67, a non-profit foundation, will collaborate with McGill on the preservation and maintenance of the apartment as part of its mandate to promote the property for public educational activities.

 “On behalf of the McGill community, I would like to express our gratitude to Moshe Safdie for his remarkable gift,” said McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier. “This is a historic moment for McGill. One of the most influential and important architectural archives in the world, from one of our most celebrated graduates, will forever be a part of our University.”