Moshe Safdie is an Israeli-Canadian architect best known for designing Habitat ’67  at the site of Expo 67, a year-long international exhibition in Montreal.

Early works by Safdie include Habitat Puerto Rico (1968–72), a modular housing system in San Juan; Yeshivat Porat Joseph Rabbinical College, with dormitories, teaching facilities, library, and synagogue, in Jerusalem (1971–79); Coldspring New Town, commissioned by the city of Baltimore, a plan for a new town, including residences and related public and service buildings (1971); and Wailing WallPlaza, in the Old City, Jerusalem (1974). While continuing to oversee projects, Moshe Safdie served as director of the urban design program (1978–84) and professor of architecture and urban design (1984–89) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

1. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, 2011 | Moshe Safdie

The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort forms a gateway to the city and is central to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s vision to redefine its city centerpiece, the Marina Bay reservoir.

It is a 16-hectare development that is a part of the 360-hectare extension to Central Business District. Located in the city of gardens, it exists as the crown jewel of the waterfront development, it’s planning is inspired by great Roman cities with strong spinal organizations that become the focus of civic life.

The complex includes a 55 storey hotel with 2560 rooms in total; a 1.2-hectare garden Sky park capping the towers; an iconic Art, Science Museum on the waterfront promontory; two state-of-the-art theaters; a Casino; a Convention Center, and Exhibition Halls; a wide array of shopping and dining outlets; and an outdoor event plaza.

20 Iconic Projects by Moshe Safdie every Architect should know about - The Marina Bay Singapore, 2011
Marina Bay Sands

2. The Kauffman Center, Kansas City, Missouri, 2011

Composed of a proscenium theater and concert hall, and located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, the Kauffman Center serves as a catalyst for social, educational, and economic vitality in the city and the region

It also encourages collaboration and interdisciplinary exploration among resident companies – as well as audience cross-fertilization. The iconic geometric forms reflect the changes in the Missouri sky throughout the course of the day.

3. Orchard Boulevard, Singapore, 2021

Occupying a prime location near Orchard Road, Singapore’s famed shopping district, Orchard Boulevard combines Boulevard 88, a pair of private residential towers, and The EDITION Singapore, a limited brand, global boutique hotel. Expected to be completed by 2021

Designed for high density within an urban context, the building is broken down into smaller ‘urban building blocks’ to create premium living space for the entire development.

The architectural character of the development is defined by multiple sky bridges and gardens. A bridge spanning the top of the 25 story residential towers creates a dramatic ‘urban window’.

20 Iconic Projects by Moshe Safdie every Architect should know about - Orchard Boulevard Singapore,2021 - Sheet1
Orchard Boulevard
20 Iconic Projects by Moshe Safdie every Architect should know about - Orchard Boulevard Singapore,2021 - Sheet2
Orchard Boulevard

4. National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel, 2019

The new National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel is an important element in the composition of cultural and government buildings in Jerusalem.

it reflects the civic identity of its mission, and as a public museum, provides an open and welcoming face to the city. Three courtyards step down the slope and are contained by wings housing the various program elements. One enters at the roof level, which faces the valley and descends into the complex. Two tensile-steel-and-fabric canopies cover the principal courtyard and the mosaic courtyard, referring to shading tents used for archaeological excavations.

5. Raffles City, Chongqing, 2019 | Moshe Safdie

Raffles City Chongqing, although vertically organized into a series of towers, strives to connect to the city’s existing network of streets and systems. It also transforms the site podium into a network of public and open spaces. Additionally, a sky conservatory, which bridges between four towers, draws the active public life high up into the project.

Atop the podium, eight towers rise up, with six of the southern towers reaching 250 m and the two northern towers topping out at 350 m. The towers are a mix of uses, comprised of residences, high-end luxury residences, offices, service apartments, and hotel programs.

6. Boise Library Campus

The site for the library complex is strategically located to the southern extremity of the downtown area, abutting the Boise River and the linear Boise River Greenbelt that follows it on both sides. The campus brings this environment into the library complex, to allow those who are using the library, theater, and art center experience the beauty of the park, its freshness, and sense of rejuvenation as a matter of daily experience.

The program for the complex includes three primary components: the central library, a 300 seat theater, and the art center. Each is in itself a significant component, yet are brought together into one institution whose sum total is greater than the parts.

The great reading room—the showpiece and gathering space of the library—is sited protruding into the park, practically touching the giant, mature trees, which are preserved and celebrated, almost brought into the building.


7. Habitat Qinhuangdao

Habitat Qinhuangdao offers a bold new concept for urban living: high-density housing in a garden environment, combining numerous private and public gardens in the sky with a fully landscaped ground plane.

Rather than building a community of towers, the project organizes the housing into a series of linked mini-blocks of 16 stories each, which are linked together via garden bridges at multiple levels.

8. Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore, 2018 | Moshe Safdie

Jewel Changi Airport re-imagines the center of an airport as a major public realm attraction. Jewel offers a range of facilities for landside airport operations, indoor gardens and leisure attractions, retail offerings, and hotel facilities, all under one roof. A distinctive dome-shaped façade made of glass and steel adds to Changi Airport’s appeal as one of the world’s leading air hubs.
Based on the geometry of a torus, the building is designed as a new central connector between the existing airport terminals at Singapore Changi Airport. At its core is the Forest Valley, a terraced garden attraction that offers many spatial and interactive experiences for visitors.

At the apex of Jewel’s glass roof is an oculus that showers water down to the center of the building.

9. Habitat 67, Montréal, Québec, 1967

Habitat was the major theme exhibition of the 1967 Montreal World Exposition. As a landmark demonstration project, it pioneered a vision for urban housing using the technology of prefabricated construction. As a break-through building type that continues to resonate today, Habitat seeks to create a vital neighborhood with open spaces, garden terraces, and many other amenities typically reserved for the single-family home, now adapted to a high-density city environment.

10. The Altair tower, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2018

The Altair tower, the tallest residential building in Sri Lanka, provides outdoor garden terraces at every level with an innovative two-leg structural design.

The rapidly developing city of Colombo, Sri Lanka is a new gateway to Southeast Asia. This 69 storey development is comprised of 400 residential units with views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The building is comprised of two vertical tower blocks, one leaning on the other. The leaning form allows for each floor level to have an outdoor terrace facing Beira Lake. Both the leaning tower and its paired vertical tower are planned with through-unit designs allowing for open plans and natural cross-ventilation to all apartments

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