Last summer I went to see Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 in Montréal. Unfortunately, you can really on experience the architecture from the street. The entire complex is clearly marked as private and you can tell they have to work very diligently to keep the throngs of architecture nerds at bay. I almost called up an agent to see if I could see one of the listed apartments, but decided not to waste anybody’s time.
Thankfully, James Brittain has a photography exhibition going on in London right now called Revisited: Habitat 67. The aim of the exhibition is to expose the hidden side of the famous housing complex, which I find fascinating, particularly because I wasn’t able to see anything hidden last summer. You can check out a bunch of his photos over at The Spaces.
There are many dimensions to Habitat 67. But one aspect that stands out is this idea of conferring the benefits of low-rise single-family housing – things like large outdoor spaces and access to light – onto higher density urban housing. It is something that architects today still explore and something that we consider in basically all of our development projects. Habitat 67 considered this over 50 years ago.