“For those who design in order to build, not succeeding in building is not a failure,” Safdie says. “There are different reasons that things don’t get built but they form a fascinating track through one’s thoughts and career. When I review that unbuilt work, some of it is the most significant work I’ve done.”
– Moshe Safdie
In this short video, part of the plane-site series, “Time-Space-Existence, renowned Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie highlights the importance of his unbuilt work. He contemplates the lineage of his Iconic Habitat 67 project, noting that the final build in Montreal was actually only a fifth of the multi-site project. Safdie ponders the role of his unbuilt projects (like some of his proposals for sites in New York and Israel), stating that looking back on these ideas is crucial for orienting architecture in the present tense. This outlook results in contemporary buildings that are a product of both the technology and spirit of the times but embedded with a timeless sense of meaning.
This interview with Safdie is part of larger series of profiles by GAA Foundation which includes Kengo Kuma, Tatiana Bilbao, Arata Isozaki, and Fumihiko Maki. Each month, PLANE-SITE will publish another interview leading up to the Time-Space-Existence exhibit running parallel to the Venice Architecture Biennial opening May 2018.