It's a Canadian landmark. For decades it's served as a backdrop for movies, TV, and even music videos!
Yup, it's Habitat 67 in Montreal, Quebec!
Designed by Israelian/Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, the project was part of housing-themed World Expo 67. Just as Star Trek episodes from the 80s attempted to predict the aesthetic of the 2000s, Habitat 67 was Safdie's vision for urban housing of the future. The Lego-reminiscent complex was intended to suggest how future generations might combine the Canadian dream of suburbia's sprawl of private backyards with the reality of dense urban living.
Recently unearthed thanks to the CBC Digital Archives, this raw footage of Habitat 67's pre-fab units being made is both nostalgic and fascinating!
Thank you to a recent CBC article, entitled, 'This Is What It Was Like To Live In The Condo Of The Future', for bringing this to our attention!
49 years later, Habitat 67 remains mostly unchanged along the banks of the St. Lawrence, is residentially occupied, and continues to draw tourist traffic. While its concrete exterior is now considered a bit unsightly, recent renovations on individual units have resepctfully brought Safdie's work into the 21st century by aligning the living spaces with today's interior design trends. Check out one standout example of this in one of our past Houseporn student blogs: 'A Deft Variation On A Theme - H67 By Montreal’s Studio Practice'
Yes, Safdie's prediction was about as accurate as those old Star Trek episodes, but it's undeniable that certain architectural elements from Habitat 67 - revolutionary in the 60's - can now be seen in complexes being built all over the world. Not to mention the architectural and design world's current obsession with Pre-Fab housing!
For a more background on the project itself, from inception to completion, read this Houseporn contribution: 'Habitat 67 in Montreal'.
~ Steven Fudge, the purveyor of houseporn.ca and proprietor of urbaneer.com, a division of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.
If you're a lover of real estate consider checking out my Toronto blog at Urbaneer.com for more real estate insight and information, as well as valuable content on housing, culture and design!