July 14, 1938 |
Haifa, Mandatory Palestine
|Nationality||Israeli, Canadian, American|
|Awards||AIA Gold Medal
Order of Canada
Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum
Asian University for Women
Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex
Marina Bay Sands
|Projects||Alrov Mamilla Quarter|
He who seeks truth shall find beauty. He who seeks beauty shall find vanity. He who seeks order shall find gratification. He who seeks gratification shall be disappointed. He who considers himself the servant of his fellow beings shall find the joy of self-expression. He who seeks self-expression shall fall into the pit of arrogance.
I want my buildings to take root and look as if they've always been there. It isn't about pastiche or adapting what's already there. It's about trying to blend the future and the past.
Architecture has joined the world of fashion, but fashion is passing and architecture is timeless.
A painter, a sculptor, a writer, they can express freely. They don't affect society as a whole. We build buildings that have a purpose, that stay there for hundreds of years or decades.
I think the general public's response to my projects is very strong. You can be an intellectual and say that popularity detracts from architectural quality. On the other hand, you can see in the public's identification something very positive.
I grew up in a country where the environment was very social justice-oriented.
Urban design as a discipline barely exists in most American and Canadian cities. In Singapore, there are innovative transportation strategies at work.
My identity is always at the forefront, and I also think that every article that is written about me refers to me as an Israeli architect.
We live in a complicated, oppressive world with enormous cities and vast populations, and I try to contribute by making it more light and open and calm.
A house is not a machine! It's something else for living – but not a machine.
Architecture should be rooted in the past, and yet be part of our own time and forward looking.
There is a profound ethic to architecture which is different from the other arts.
I have a passion for libraries. They are potentially real community centers.
I don't think I have a signature style that announces, 'This is a Safdie.' But I think star architects have seized an opportunity to go anywhere in the world to produce meaningless buildings.
Performing arts buildings are complex. The acoustics, the sight lines and all that have to just be perfect. So you begin with just making these things sublime as musical instruments. And if you fail there, you have failed it all.
Except for the projects in Israel, my being Israeli has contributed negatively to my global activity. It is hard for me, for example, to get projects in the Persian Gulf emirates.
I think you need to, as an architect, understand the essence of a place and create a building that feels like it resonates with the culture of a place. So my buildings in India or in Kansas City or in Arkansas or in Singapore, they come out different because the places are so different.
I'm completely taken and impressed by the planning authority of Singapore and its Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). It's the most cutting-edge agency in the world. They have very effective guidelines for development, and they review design as it evolves.
Beauty connotes humanity. We call a natural object beautiful because we see that its form expresses fitness, the perfect fulfillment of function.