Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie - 2010
Today, as architecture is reasserting its role in popular culture, Moshe Safdie’s buildings are exemplars of what has been be termed “progressive contextualism” - an important way of thinking globally about building. Safdie’s canonical works combine the social activism and advanced technologies of modernism with profound respect for historical and regional context. Safdie’s early 1970s experience with the architecture of ancient Jerusalem inaugurated his work in this genre, which was realized there in such projects as the Hebrew Union College and Mamilla Center. In other signature buildings, such as the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Salt Lake City Library, glass walls and roofs enclose atrium spaces to create great communal rooms. The shapes and materials of his buildings, from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, to the Khalsa National Museum near Chandigarh, India, draw on indigenous forms, yet have a distinct and distinguished presence. In his commissions for major cultural and religious structures, which serve a surprisingly diverse group of people - New England patricians, Indian Sikhs, and the governments of Israel, Canada, and the United States - Moshe Safdie employs an architectural language of universal meaning.
Sponsored by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Skirball Cultural Center, curated by Donald Albrecht, and held at the National Gallery of Canada from October 6, 2010 - January 9, 2011.