Revisited: Habitat 67 by James Brittain, or The hidden life of a project by Moshe Safdie

Exterior view of Moshe Safdie's modular housing complex named Habitat 67 in Montreal. Photograph by James Brittain
03/02/2018
Revisited: Habitat 67 by James Brittain, or The hidden life of a project by Moshe Safdie
Photographer James Brittain [LON] UK
metalocus, PABLO CUESTA
Exterior view of Moshe Safdie's modular housing complex named Habitat 67 in Montreal. Photograph by James Brittain

A interesting question, Does architectural photography always need to look pristine? One practitioner is not so sure.

The architectural photographer, James Brittain, whose day job is shooting newly-completed buildings for architects, has this time, presents a series of large scale colour photographs documenting Montreal's Habitat 67, the residential complex designed by the Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie as the Canadian Pavilion for the World Exposition of 1967.

When Moshe Safdie presented Habitat 67 as part of the International and Universal Exposition in 1967, all eyes were on Montreal. The Israeli-Canadian architect’s spectacular housing complex was his first-ever built project, but it totally reimagined high-density urban living with its deconstructed take on a block. Made up of 354 pre-fabricated concrete units, it remains one of Canada’s most significant architectural landmarks.
 
“Photography has always been central to our understanding of and engagement with modern architecture. Is it still possible to photograph the places where we live and work, the spaces around us, thoughtfully and usefully? And if so, how do we do that?

I’ve been thinking...read more
Venue
JTD at their office: Jonathan Tuckey Des
ign, 58 Milson Road, W14 OLB, London. UK
Dates
The exhibition will be on display at Jon
athan Tuckey Design, 58 Milson Road at the following times: - Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th February - 10am to 6pm. - Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February - 10am to 6pm. - James will be introducing the exhibition, and talking about his ongoing research with the architectural curator Vanessa Norwood, at a talk on Tuesday 6th February.
The living architecture of Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 in Montreal by James Brittain. Photograph by James BrittainRevisited: Habitat 67, by James BrittainRevisited: Habitat 67, by James BrittainRevisited: Habitat 67, by James BrittainThe photographs take an intimate and human view of the architecture. Photograph by James BrittainBrittain show us as Habitat 67’s occupiers are constantly adapting the use of its private and public spaces. Photograph by James BrittainRevisited: Habitat 67, by James BrittainThe photographs celebrate domestic time and tear and reveal the wear of the housing complex. Photograph by James BrittainRevisited: Habitat 67, by James BrittainCirculation area between dwellings at Habitat 67Exterior view of Moshe Safdie's modular housing complex named Habitat 67 in Montreal. Photograph by James Brittain

Brittain

James Brittain is an independent photographer based in Montreal, Canada, and shooting worldwide. He has 15 years experience in photography specialising in the field of architecture, interiors and the built environment.

James regularly provides lectures about his practice, photography and architecture, most recent...read more

Safdie

Moshe Safdie, born in Haifa, Israel in 1938, Safdie moved with his family to Montreal in 1953. He studied architecture at McGill University, and after graduation worked with AIA Gold Medalist Louis Kahn, FAIA, in Philadelphia. He returned to Montreal to work on read more