The following list of “first principles” form the basis of Moshe Safdie’s design philosophy and approach to architecture and urban planning.

Shaping the Public Realm


Mamilla Center

Jerusalem, Israel

One of the most important goals in architecture is to create meaningful, vital, and inclusive social spaces. As architects, we are responsible for shaping not only a project’s program, but also its larger civic role of enabling and enriching the community.

Salt Lake City Public Library

Salt Lake City, Utah

Our firm has designed civic buildings and public spaces, including museums, cultural centers, libraries, memorials, schools, urban parks, and religious facilities that serve as anchors of a vibrant public life in neighborhoods in cities around the world.

Salt Lake City Public Library

Salt Lake City, Utah

National Gallery of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

National Gallery of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

New City of Modi'in

Modi'in, Israel

New City of Modi'in

Modi'in, Israel

Architecture with a Purpose


US Federal Courthouse

Springfield, Massachusetts

We believe that architecture grows out of a vision of the way it can affect the lives of the individuals for whom buildings and public spaces are created.

US Federal Courthouse

Springfield, Massachusetts

As architects, we are responsible for designing buildings that address human needs and aspirations. For example – a school, above all else, must be a wonderful place for learning. Every element of each design must be an expression of the life intended in a building.

Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum

Jerusalem, Israel

Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum

Jerusalem, Israel

Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum

Jerusalem, Israel

Ottawa City Hall

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Responding to the Essence of Place


Peabody Essex Museum

Salem, Massachusetts

The strength of our practice lies in the geographic and cultural diversity in which we work. We have created buildings in communities around the world: Boston, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Jerusalem, Bangladesh and Singapore, among many other places. Our designs are specific to place and culture—they are inspired by, and woven into, the historic, cultural, and social fabric of their site.

Peabody Essex Museum

Salem, Massachusetts

Our solutions evolve in response to the context that defines a place – local and regional characteristics of landscape, climate, cultural heritage, and contemporary life. Celebrating the unique character of each place, we create buildings that belong.

Khalsa Heritage Center

Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India

Khalsa Heritage Center

Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India

Khalsa Heritage Center

Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India

Khalsa Heritage Center

Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India

Quebec Museum of Civilization

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Quebec Museum of Civilization

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Architecture that is Buildable


United State Institute of Peace Headquarters

Washington, D.C.

Architecture is not about building the impossible, it is about building what makes sense for a specific program and for a particular setting. It is about allowing the specific qualities of materials and the processes of construction to inform the design. The notion of “inherent buildability” is central to our work. We find elegant solutions that reflect the designing hand of nature.

United State Institute of Peace Headquarters

Washington, D.C.

We are innovative architects and builders who use resources intelligently and carefully. We employ a full range of building tools and cutting-edge technologies to ensure efficiency and ease of construction.

United State Institute of Peace Headquarters

Washington, D.C.

Museum of ArtScience

Singapore

Museum of ArtScience

Singapore

Exploration Place

Wichita, Kansas

Exploration Place

Wichita, Kansas

Exploration Place

Wichita, Kansas

Exploration Place

Wichita, Kansas

Habitat '67

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Habitat '67

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Habitat '67

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Building Responsibly


Skirball Cultural Center

Los Angeles, California

Well before it became a fashionable term, sustainability has been a guiding principle of our work. As architects, we have a responsibility to respond to the issues of energy conservation, of ecology, and of renewable materials. We have to use resources efficiently while we advance our clients’ goals.

Skirball Cultural Center

Los Angeles, California

Sustainability, at its core, implies a way of building that is sensitive to local geography and culture. This approach not only addresses important ecological goals, it also enhances the sustainability of a building’s use and value to its owners. Whenever possible, we choose to work with indigenous building materials and use local labor. We always aim to preserve resources and construct the most with the least.

Skirball Cultural Center

Los Angeles, California

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Headquarters

Washington, DC

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Headquarters

Washington, DC

Vancouver Library Square

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Library Square

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Library Square

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Humanizing the Megascale


Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort

Singapore

In the 20th century, urban development has been shaped by factors such as proliferation of the automobile, greater population densities, and the advent of high-rise buildings made possible by new technologies.

Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort

Singapore

Architecture must cope with rapid urban growth, congestion, and resisting the dehumanization of the environment that is too often a result. As architects and urban designers, we work towards effective urban strategies to address these challenges, mitigate the dehumanizing effect of mega-scale, and enhance the quality of life in our cities and neighborhoods.

Habitat of the Future

Habitat of the Future

Habitat of the Future

Lester B. Pearson International Airport

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Lester B. Pearson International Airport

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Lester B. Pearson International Airport

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Habitat '67

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Habitat '67

Montreal, Quebec, Canada