1967: Habitat 67 – Montreal, Quebec
Innovation:Prebabricated Housing on a Large Scale
Location: Montreal, Quebec
By: Moshe Safdie
Habitat 67, a series of prefabricated concrete units meant for large scale housing, was first introduced by Moshe Safdie on 1967 for the Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada. The final complex consists of 364 three dimensional prefabricated concrete cubes arranged in various combinations, reaching up to 12 stories in height to form 146 residences.
The project began as an experiment to achieve better and more affordable housing for people living in increasingly crowded cities around the world. Safdie felt that it was more efficient to make buildings in factories and deliver them prefabricated to the site. As a result, Safdie attempted to make a revolution in the way homes were built by factory mass production. The units were built in a factory beside the Habitat 67 site and then arranged in such a way that each man’s roof was another man’s garden. The arrangement of the units provided privacy and a sense of uniqueness.
Even though his project was successful in making it possible for a dense population to live in an urban environment with the pleasures of a private home and garden, the project failed to revolutionize housing in such ways and ultimately Habitat 67 became so famous that the apartment became much more expensive than Safdie originally envisioned.