Sdtrk: ‘We build a golem for London’ by Mount Vernon astral temple
Okay, with this instalment, we’re back to the sort of architecture that genuinely makes me a wee bit sad to look at, cos I know I’ll probably never get a chance to live there, but at the same time, it makes me entirely giddy to know that a place such as this is still standing. This time, our focus turns to Habitat 67, designed by Moshe Safdie for the 1967 Expo in Montréal.
At the ground level, a service road system connects all service areas and parking facilities. One level above the service roads is a pedestrian plaza, and above that plastic-sheltered streets which connect all parts of the project through walk-ways and bridges. At no time is it necessary for a pedestrian to cross the service roads. To reach the homes on the upper levels there are three vertical cores, where the elevators serve the horizontal pedestrian streets.
Unlike most Expo exhibits, Habitat 67 remained after the exposition’s close, and remains fully occupied today. Mr Safdie was one of those architects that sought to change the way people lived in a social context, so he built a series of apartments that had the open space that most urban apartments were lacking. This place offered 158 units varying from one- to four-bedroom units, with open walkways that were sheltered from the weather by plexiglass walls. There’s a link at the bottom of the page I’d provided above, that recounts the experiences of a couple that moved to Habitat 67, that’s pretty interesting to read.
What initially hit me about Habitat 67 is that the whole place looks like it’s in motion (‘Nude Descending a Staircase’, anyone?), what with its cube-units going in and out at all sorts of angles and distances. The other appealing thing is due to its structural layout, everyone has their own back patio/mini-garden, which would be perfect for someone like myself, who doesn’t mind the outdoors and nature, just not in great amounts. Some amount of greenery, yet no yard to maintain? You’re speaking my language!
Habitat 67 is a Machine for Living, but with a personal touch. Once again proving that Expo sites feature some of the best buildings and structures