Safdie studied architecture at McGill University in Montreal, and his thesis became the basis of Habitat ’67, a landmark housing complex that was the first expression of his ideals for urban living. Safdie went on to found an international architectural practice and has designed some of Canada’s most exceptional public buildings, including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City.
“Is there right or wrong in architecture? Many artists would say, ‘There’s full freedom in the arts. It’s an expressive process, and there’s no right or wrong. It’s a subjective choice.’ I don’t think that’s true of architecture. I don’t think architecture can be truly and only subjective, but rather it must meet some greater measure: how does it serve the people that it’s built for?”
“Architecture has an extraordinary impact on our lives, because it has the power to affect how we live, how we work, and how we function. There is extraordinary responsibility that comes with it. I am not suggesting that there is one solution to each question. There are many solutions, many answers, many designs, but each of them needs to be evaluated in terms of its impact on the people who live in it. This means that the foundation of architectural thinking has to be essentially a humane consideration, a consideration of architecture’s impact on people and the quality of their lives.”
“You can’t say, ‘I want to make something timeless’ any more than you can say, ‘I want to make something beautiful.’ If you just say, ‘I want to make it beautiful,’ where do you start? But if you try to make it wholesome, meet its purpose, use materials in an effective way, then somehow I believe that all this leads to something that’s beautiful.”
Monde means "World"
In designing Monde, Safdie Architects responded to the essence of its place in the world: lake, sky, waterfront, city. The result is harmony of stone, masonry, and glass, with an innovative stepped tower that gives expansive views of both lake and city.
East Bayfront is the first new neighbourhood in the revitalization of Toronto’s eastern waterfront. Sustainability is one of Monde’s guiding criteria.
- LEED Gold certification
- low emission building materials
- high-performance curtain wall window system
- green rooftops
- rainwater harvesting
- access to transit, bike paths, and pedestrian walkways