Wolf Prize Laureate in Architecture 2019
“For a career motivated by the social concerns of architecture and formal experimentation”.
Over a long and distinguished career spanning 50 years, Moshe Safdie has produced a body of work of great originality and artistry in the field of architecture and urbanism. He is also a distinguished educator and in his numerous publications he has articulated a clear and coherent position as an academic and critic.
The projects undertaken by his architectural studio consistently seek experimentation, and can be understood as an evolving form of research. The outreach of the practice is truly international, with projects completed in North and South America, Asia and the Middle East.
The Habitat ’67 project, part of the Montreal World Exposition, is a seminal example of experimental housing, and the impact it has had on housing concepts cannot be overstated. It remains a model of relatively low-rise, high-density housing and has been drawn upon by many architects throughout the world since it was completed. This project alone is worthy of significant recognition.
What has followed is a collection of projects of great complexity and cultural significance, which include, amongst many others, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Harvard Rosovsky Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas, the National Library of Israel and the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem. All of these project address complex public programmes and explore an architecture of exceptional originality and formal experimentation.
The jury of the Wolf Foundation Prize in the field of architecture has unanimously decided to support the nomination of Moshe Safdie for this most prestigious award.