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February 21, 2007

Habitat turns 40

photo of Habitat'67

It turns out this is the 40th anniversary of one of North America's coolest bits of architecture, the Habitat'67 housing project in Montreal. The project, created for the Expo '67 World's Fair (hey, whatever happened to World's Fairs anyway? It turns out there's an international organization that sanctions World's Fairs.)

Habitat is built out of pre-cast concrete modules that hook together in a wide variety of combinations. Think of it as LEGO blocks on steroids. Each apartment in the complex is made up of one or more modules (the biggest apartment is an eight-module palace). The modules are cleverly designed, with flooring, cabling and plumbing, etc., cast right in.

The finished structures are surprisingly livable...even the single module apartments have a balcony and a street entrance. And taken as a whole the entire structure has a great, crinkly, look to it.

The official website for Habitat '67 appears to be a truly awful one by McGill University. There's also a write-up about it on Great Buildings Online. Interested in living there? The Habitat '67 management company would love to talk with you.

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at February 21, 2007 01:33 PM