Habitat 67 is a landmark housing complex in Montreal designed by architect Moshe Safdie. The site’s unique interwoven design and futuristic vision for affordable living make it one of the most recognizable projects in modular urbanization.
However, what we see today is only a fraction of what the full project vision was meant to be. The existing structure was originally meant to be just the first phase of a larger complex meant to house 1,200 families across 30 stories. Thanks to the capabilities of real-time 3D creation tool Unreal Engine, Safdie Architects, in collaboration with Epic Games and Neoscape, are now able to explore the original vision in all its glory, thus “providing the next generation of architects, engineers, and urban planners an interactive reference point for creating a better tomorrow.”
The project was originally conceived as part of Safdie’s master’s thesis at McGill University titled “A Three-Dimensional Modular Building System” and was later commissioned to be built as a living exhibition by the Canadian government. Addressing the lack of privacy, light, and greenery in conventional urban housing units, Habitat 67 was designed to integrate the benefits of suburban homes while maintaining the access, community, density, and economics of a modern apartment building in the city.
“This was an opportunity to actually go, not quite into the building, but to experience it in a way that I could not have imagined when I designed it,” Safdie told Dezeen. “One thought that went through my mind was if I had this tool and I could have shown this to the federal cabinet in 1964, maybe that would have convinced them – that was my reaction.”
A video explaining the details of the project can be found above.