Archive Photographs - STAGE 1

Part of the site on which Habitat was built was reclaimed from the St. Lawrence River by landfill. The main supports of the structure are reinforced concrete piles that penetrate down to the bedrock level. The foundation, basement and second floor plaza were cast directly on site. Triangular cut-outs on the plaza level allow natural light to penetrate the covered parking and service areas located below.

Most of Habitat was completed in time for Expo '67. Its first precast concrete box was hoisted into place on April 7, 1966, and its last on February 28, 1967. The entire structure of this first phase was erected in ten months and twenty-one days. Each box-module weighed 63.5 metric tons (70 tons). Habitat's north cluster was only completed after Expo '67, in 1970.

Formwork being removed after fabrication of
Prefabrication process
Box  being lifted up by the crane to assemble the structure
slabs of south and middle large cluster are seen. Assembly of boxes on the south cluster has begun
2nd floor plaza
South end cluster 2nd floor plaza level slab being laid. On top the below slab construction of the  smaller cluster can be seen
South end
looking northwards. The foundations and 2nd floor slabs of the middle and north large cluster being constructed. Triangular openings light up the basement and garage level.
Middle and north cluster
 Middle and north end clusters. Basement level and 2nd floor plaza being constructed.
Middle and north cluster
Pile foundations being constructed.
Pile foundations
Looking southwards. Aerial view of the site before construction. On the right is the harbour while on the left is the St Lawrence River.
Aerial view
construction of foundation.
Aerial view of area before construction. On the left is the Old port and Downtown Montreal. Lower left shows the site. Top left shows the St Lawrence River.
Before construction
South end cluster being marked on site.
South cluster
Pile construction in process.
Pile construction
 Habitat'67 original scheme. Conceptual diagram and light studies.
Habitat'67 original scheme.

Copyright © (2001) Canadian Architecture Collection, McGill University