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It must be exciting to design an entire residential complex--and then to actually live in it. Such was the case with Moshe Safdie, who spent his first years as a professional architect at Habitat raising his family. Though it has been some time since Mr. Safdie has lived at Habitat, he maintains a residence there and with each return to Montreal from his homes in Boston and Jerusalem he is sure to visit his landmark creation. Unlike the fate of most other innovative architecture, it is generally agreed that Habitat has improved with age.
In the original building plans for Habitat, Mr. Safdie's four-module residence was conceived as two separate two-module units. It was during construction of the building that the architect modified these plans, merging the neighbouring residences into one. Since then, notably no other major structural changes have been made to this space. Access to the residence, located on the top two floors of Habitat, is somewhat deceiving, since Habitat's elevator stops on the tenth floor, and Mr. Safdie's units span the eleventh and twelfth. In keeping with the architect's theme of providing each resident with direct access to their home, a staircase leads from the tenth floor to the unit's front door on the penultimate level of Habitat.

Today, another young family rents the former home of the architect. Newcomers to Montreal, they love the unique setting and perspective of the city with which Habitat provides them.

           View from residence
view the 3-d model and photographs view the 3-d model and photographs

Copyright © (2001) Canadian Architecture Collection, McGill University