Moshe Safdie to design McGill
MONTREAL – Dr. Arthur T. Porter, Director General and
CEO of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), announced that Moshe
Safdie, a McGill University graduate and world-renowned architect, will
design the master plan for the Glen Campus of the MUHC, a 43-acre
former brownfield site destined to revitalize several neighbourhoods.
Mr. Safdie will join a consortium of elite Quebec and U.S. architects in
working on the $1.579-billion redevelopment project. The MUHC will be
his first academic healthcare centre.
Three years after graduating from McGill, 24-year-old Moshe Safdie shone
a spotlight on Montreal that was seen around the world when he took
charge of the master plan for Expo ‘67 and created what is undeniably a
20th century icon with Habitat ‘67.
Since that initial project, the now veteran architect’s work has spanned
the globe and includes a rich array of public and academic institutions,
as well as major cultural and civic projects. His return home to
Montreal represents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and assure the
city’s appointment as a UNESCO City of Design.
“After only one conversation with Moshe Safdie, I realized this is a man
who respects the people who will ultimately use the buildings he
creates,” said Dr. Porter. “It’s not about grandiose architecture or
what’s fashionable today. Mr. Safdie’s soft-spoken manner and philosophy
convinced me that the healing environment which will be created on the
MUHC’s Glen Campus will indeed shape the face of healthcare in the 21st
There are myriad challenges in designing a world-class academic
healthcare campus, which is dedicated to integrated clinical care for
children and adults as well as research and teaching. From a functional
and technical design perspective, these challenges include creating
distinct yet connected environments, ensuring user-friendliness for
patients, families, visitors and personnel, and planning buildings that
can evolve apace of ever-advancing medical practice and science. Success
also hinges on how well the campus fits into its surroundings and how
people interact with the space.
“Hospital environments have come to be synonymous with alienation, as
they have grown larger, more confusing and an assemblage of patched-up
additions. I am most excited about the challenge and opportunity
presented by the MUHC to create a new model for healthcare architecture
for the 21stcentury. I look forward to meeting the objectives
articulated by David Culver and Arthur Porter, notably of creating a
place of community, humanity and comfort for patients, their families
and the dedicated healthcare professionals. Rarely has there been an
opportunity to re-examine hospital architecture from first principles,”
said Moshe Safdie.
The consortium charged with designing the two campuses for the MUHC
comprises Les architectes Lemay et associés; Jodoin Lamarre Pratte et
associés architectes; André Ibghy Architectes; and Menkès Shooner
In addition to Moshe Safdie & Associates, Perkins+Will will contribute
invaluable international expertise to the team, which has a combined
total of more than one hundred years of experience in major projects.
“We have an incredibly dynamic group,” said Louis T. Lemay, Senior
Architect and President, Les architectes Lemay et associés. “The energy
that will drive this project is sure to guarantee world-class facilities
that are on the vanguard of the best in healthcare design trends. We’re
all looking forward to the creative process.”
Safdie’s Canadian projects include Montreal’s Habitat ‘67 and Montreal
Museum of Fine Arts (last pavilion); Quebec City’s Musée de la
civilisation; Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada; Toronto’s Pearson
International Airport(rebuild); and Vancouver’s largest ever capital
project, Library Square.
His peers and the international community have recognized his extensive
repertoire of projects. Recent building openings include the Telfair
Museum of Art in Savannah and the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem. The
Khalsa Memorial Complex, the national museum of the Sikh people in
Punjab, India, is currently under construction. He has recently been
commissioned to design a $3.4-billion integrated resort for the Venetian
Sands in Singapore, to be complete in 2009.
The MUHC has registered the Redevelopment Project with the Canada Green
Building Council and is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) certification – a benchmark for the design,
construction, and operation of high performance green buildings – for
both the Glen and Mountain campuses.
About the MUHC Redevelopment Project
Guided by its mission and its role as the nerve centre of the McGill
integrated university hospital network, the MUHC is carrying out
a$1.579-billion Redevelopment Project that will help the Government
achieve its vision for academic medicine in Quebec. Excellence in
patient care, research, education and technology assessment will be
fostered on two state-of-art campuses – The Mountain and the Glen – and
through strong relationships with healthcare partners. Each LEED-registered
campus will be designed to provide patients and their families with “The
Best Care For Life” in a healing environment that is anchored in best
sustainable development practices, including BOMA Go Green guidelines.
About the MUHC
The MUHC is a comprehensive academic health institution with an
international reputation for excellence in clinical programmes,
research, teaching and technology evaluation. The MUHC is a merger of
five teaching hospitals affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at
McGill University: the Montreal Children’s, Montreal General, Royal
Victoria, and Montreal Neurological hospitals, and the Montreal Chest
Institute. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of the
founding hospitals, the goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care
based on the most advanced knowledge in the healthcare field and to
contribute to the development of new knowledge.