One of the clues on Jeopardy last night was Habitat 67 in Montreal, Canada. (Yes, I’m a nerd, and I watch Jeopardy!) When I saw an image of the housing complex I immediately knew I had to learn more about it. Habitat 67 was built for Expo 67, the 1967 International and Universal Exposition. The model community and housing complex was designed by architect Moshe Safdie.
Safdie’s thought while designing the space was to house a large number of people affordably, while still providing privacy. During Expo 67, Safdie hoped to create 1000 homes but that number was reduced significantly. Although a main portion of the goal was affordability, because the structure was built so close to the center of town, the prices are not as affordable as Safdie intended.
Habitat 67 is considered an architectural landmark and one of the most significant buildings in Montreal. The cube is the base structure of the building. Each home is a prefabricated concrete structure, stacked on top of each other in a variety of combinations. The goal of the project was to provide affordable single family housing within close quarters. Each apartment has its own rooftop garden space.
The complex consists of 354 cubes, that stack to reach 12 stories in height. Now the complex contains 148 residences. Originally there were 158 residences, but some have been combined to create larger homes. There are 15 different housing options available.