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Moshe Safdie

Altair architect Moshe Safdie named Laureate of 2019 Wolf Prize in Architecture

February 7, 2019

Moshe Safdie, the architect of Sri Lanka’s paradigmatic high rise edifice Altair, has been named the Laureate in Architecture by the jury committee for the 2019 Wolf Prize, considered the second most important in the world after the Nobel Prize.

To be presented by the President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin in the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem in May, the celebrated Wolf Prize honours Mr Safdie for “a career motivated by the social concerns of architecture and formal experimentation.”

Announcing the prize, worth US$ 100,000, the jury said: “Over a long and distinguished career spanning 50 years, Moshe Safdie has produced a body of work of great originality and artistry in the field of architecture and urbanism. The projects undertaken by his architectural studio consistently seek experimentation and can be understood as an evolving form of research. He is also a distinguished educator and in his numerous publications he has articulated a clear and coherent position as an academic and critic.”

A citizen of Israel, Canada and the United States, Mr Safdie is an architect, urban planner, theorist and author. He was born in Haifa in 1938 and relocated to Canada with his family in 1953. He graduated from McGill University in 1961 with a degree in architecture. After apprenticing with Louis I. Kahn in Philadelphia, Safdie returned to Montreal to oversee the master plan for the 1967 World Exhibition. In 1964 he established his own firm to realize Habitat 67, an adaptation of his thesis at McGill, which was the central feature of the World’s Fair and a ground-breaking design in the history of architecture.

Moshe Safdie’s more recent work includes Marina Bay Sands — the new icon of Singapore, Jewel Changi Airport — the stunning mixed-use development due to open in 2019, the Kauffman Centre for the Performing Arts in Kansas City — rated one of the 15 most spectacular concert halls of the world, the Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art in Arkansas, the Khalsa Heritage Centre in Punjab, the headquarters of the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC, Lester B. Pearson Airport, Toronto, the Yad Vasham Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, Cairnhill Condominiums in Singapore, the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Wolf Prize winners are selected by international professional judging committees of three members of renowned experts in their fields. Each committee is appointed for one year only. The judges’ names, as well as their deliberations, remain confidential.

Since 1978, five Wolf Prizes have been awarded annually, four in the sciences and one in the arts. The prize is awarded to renowned scientists and artists for their unique contribution “for the sake of humanity and for friendly relations between nations, without distinction of nationality, race, colour, religion, sex or political outlook.” The areas of prizes in the sciences are agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, physics and medicine. The areas of prizes in art are music, architecture, painting and sculpture.

Adjudged the Best Condominium in Asia for Architectural Design at the 2018 Asia Real Estate Summit (ARES), Altair is Sri Lanka’s most distinctive and instantly recognised high-rise. A one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience, Altair comprises of two tower blocks, a 63-storey sloping tower which leans into a taller, 68-storey vertical tower. Acknowledged as a new standard in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, the Altair building has already brought a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline and offers its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The development’s 1.5 million square feet of high-end eco-friendly living space is supported by 40,000 square feet of up-market retail space.

Photo caption – Moshe Safdie and the Altair building in Colombo

Taken from adaderana.lk

Altair Residential Development Tops Out

February 2, 2018

 

Altair, the 69-story luxury residential complex which fronts Beira Lake in Colombo, celebrated its “topping out” to mark the completion of structural work. Going back to ancient times, the topping out ceremony marks the milestone of the placement of the last structural steel beam at the final roof height. This important moment also celebrates the accomplishment of the structural construction crews and the transition to interior construction.

Altair is composed of two slender tower blocks, with one block leaning into the other vertical tower, which supports it. The towers are oriented to the movement of the sun and to harness the tropical breezes, and the units offer 270-degree views of Beira Lake and the Indian Ocean. The unique diagrid structural system accentuates the slope of the inclined stepped tower.

“It is very exciting to see the completed building form tapering elegantly toward the sky. The unique combination of a straight and a sloping stepped tower gives the building a very distinctive appearance and has become a landmark for locals and tourists,” said Charu Kokate, who visits the site regularly. The diagrid structure is highly rationalized and allows for naturally ventilated and beautifully lit units. The units are very private and with their special entrances are like “little houses in the sky”.

A generous allocation of space for public areas, a feature of high-end buildings, is even more evident in this building. Of Altair’s 1.5 million square feet of space, 828,000 square feet or 55 per cent is residential space. Of the balance, 36,000 square feet is allocated for retail while 636,000 square feet, or 42.5 per cent is public space.

 

The 400-unit towers offer spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The building is scheduled for completion in July 2018 and is already 70 per cent sold.

Taken from safdiearchitects.com

 

Architecture students from Amity University Dubai visit Altair

May 22, 2017

A visit to Altair, Sri Lanka’s architecturally unique twin-tower high rise was part of an on-going five-day study tour for architecture students of Dubai’s Amity University.

The group comprising of 30 final year students and two lecturers visited the Altair site at Sir James Peiris Mawatha, Colombo 2 for a conducted tour of the iconic structure with its distinguishing sloping and vertical towers.

This study tour is an annual highlight of the University’s curriculum for students of architecture. Last year’sstudy tour was to Singapore and included Marina Bay Sands, also designed by Altair architect Moshe Safdie.

“We were delighted to have these students, who were already familiar with Mr Safdie’s work, visit the site,” Altair Head of Sales & Marketing Jay Dias said. “Although the Amity University is located in a city known for its skyscrapers, both the students and their lectures were impressed by Altair’s design and distinctive structure.”

Now at its 58th level on the vertical tower and the 55th on the sloping tower, Altair will on completion comprise of a 63-storey tower which leans in to a taller, 68-storey tower. Acknowledged as a game changer in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, the Altair building has already brought a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline. It is intended to be a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience.

Altair will offer its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo.

The development’s 1.5 million square feet of high-end eco-friendly living space will be supported by 40,000 square feet of supportive up-market retail space.

Taken from Daily News

Altair felicitates Moshe Safdie

March 8, 2017

The management of Altair recently hosted an event at the Hilton to felicitate Moshe Safdie, the Altair project’s architect and architect of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and many other iconic buildings.

 

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Taken from FT.lk

Moshe Safdie’s visit to Altair Colombo

February 16, 2017

Here are some captures from Moshe Safdie’s recent visit to Altair.

 

Moshe Safdie Wins AIA 2015 Gold Medal, Ehrlich Architects Receives Firm Award

June 10, 2015

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced Moshe Safdie and Ehrlich Architects as recipients, respectively, of its 2015 Gold Medal and Architecture Firm Award, the organization’s highest honors. “I don’t want to call the award a culmination because I am pretty active and I want to keep going,” jokes Safdie, who is celebrating his practice’s fiftieth anniversary.

Born in 1938 in Haifa, Israel, Safdie cites the young nation’s solidarity-infused atmosphere as a strong influence in his architectural approach—a socially-focused architecture. After an apprenticeship under Louis Kahn (1971 Gold Medal recipient), Safdie designed Habitat 67 in Montreal, which, according to the architect, is “still no doubt my most radical achievement.” Other celebrated works include YadVashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“For me this award is so moving because the Gold Medal is something you get from your peers,” Safdie says. In his case, these peers—who wrote recommendation letters for Safdie—include Mohsen Mostafavi, Richard Rogers, and Frank Gehry, who wrote in his recommendation letter: “The world at large is a better place because of [Safdie’s] work.”

Safdie won out over two other finalists—Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown and Eric Owen Moss.

Moshe Safdie Wins AIA 2015 Gold Medal, Ehrlich Architects Receives Firm Award

June 1, 2015

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced Moshe Safdie and Ehrlich Architects as recipients, respectively, of its 2015 Gold Medal and Architecture Firm Award, the organization’s highest honors. “I don’t want to call the award a culmination because I am pretty active and I want to keep going,” jokes Safdie, who is celebrating his practice’s fiftieth anniversary.

Born in 1938 in Haifa, Israel, Safdie cites the young nation’s solidarity-infused atmosphere as a strong influence in his architectural approach—a socially-focused architecture. After an apprenticeship under Louis Kahn (1971 Gold Medal recipient), Safdie designed Habitat 67 in Montreal, which, according to the architect, is “still no doubt my most radical achievement.” Other celebrated works include YadVashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“For me this award is so moving because the Gold Medal is something you get from your peers,” Safdie says. In his case, these peers—who wrote recommendation letters for Safdie—include Mohsen Mostafavi, Richard Rogers, and Frank Gehry, who wrote in his recommendation letter: “The world at large is a better place because of [Safdie’s] work.”

Safdie won out over two other finalists—Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown and Eric Owen Moss.

Altair steals limelight at Dubai International Property Show

April 29, 2015

Altair, Colombo’s distinctive t win-tower residential high-rise development was among t he most attention-grabbing exhibits at the 2015 International Property Show i n Dubai, at which 94 of the world’s leading property developers from 30 countries showcased their projects. Carrying out promotions to Invest in Properties in Sri Lanka.

Visitors to the stall of Downtown International Real Estate, the agent for Altair in Dubai, were fascinated by the architecturally unique vertical and leaning towers of the development, designed by the globally renowned architect Moshe Safdie, Altair promoter Indocean Developers said.

The scale model of Altair so stood out among the many eye-catching high-rises on display t hat t he Gulf News used a photograph of it in the newspaper’s coverage of the property show, providing readers in the UAE a visual of the iconic development scheduled for completion in 2017.

“The response to Altair in Dubai was most encouraging,” said Pradeep Moraes, Director of Indocean Developers. “This is particularly noteworthy because Dubai is considered the high rise capital of the world, as the emirate is home to 24 of the 100 tallest buildings on the planet.”

Held annually in Dubai for international and local companies involved in the sale and promotion of real estate to individual and institutional investors, the International Property Show is accredited by the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). It is the leading property sales event in Dubai accessible to both consumers and business professionals and offers a perfect platform for international and local real estate markets t o showcase their residential, commercial and mixed-use projects and to conduct serious transactional business.

Projected to be a game changer in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, Altair will bring a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline. It is intended to be a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. Comprising of two tower blocks, one of 63 storeys which leans in to a taller, 68-storey tower, Altair will offer its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The development’s 1.5 million square feet of high-end ecofriendly living space will be supported by 40,000 square feet of supportive up-market retail space.

Altair opens fully-furnished ‘Show Apartments’

August 6, 2014

Altair, the architecturally-unique, 400-apartment twin-tower high-rise condominium at Sir James Peiris Mawatha, Colombo 2, opened its ‘Show Apartments’ at the site recently, with a simple religious ceremony attended by the Directors of the promoting company Indocean Developers and representatives of contracted companies and business partners.

Designed by the globally-recognised celebrity architect Moshe Safdie, Altair comprises of two tower blocks, one of which leans in to the other.

The taller of the two towers will rise to 68 stories and both towers will offer residents spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean, the city of Colombo or a silhouette of the central hills.

This luxury residential project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Pradeep Moraes and K.M. Sathian appointed Directors of Altair developer Indocean

August 5, 2014

Indocean Developers Ltd., the promoter of the iconic Altair twin tower condominium development in Colombo, has announced the appointment of Pradeep Moraes and K.M. Sathian as Directors of the company with immediate effect.
The two appointees are already closely involved with the ongoing luxury residential project in senior executive capacities, Moraes as President Sales and Marketing, and Sathian as President Projects.
Moraes joined Indocean Developers after 10 years as Head of Sales and Marketing in the property group of John Keells Holdings through its subsidiaries Asian Hotels & Properties PLC, John Keells Residential Properties Ltd., and British Overseas Ltd., in which capacity he headed a team that sold over 750 high-end luxury apartments.
Educated at St. Benedict’s College, Colombo, and at Aquinas University College, he began his corporate life in the commercial aviation sector, working for Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Gulf Air and Air Lanka. He subsequently went into Brand Management in the FMCG sector, and general management and marketing with CEO responsibility, for several leading entities in spheres such as air freight, industrial marketing, advertising, automobiles, home entertainment, security, motor racing, broadcasting and telecommunications.
Sathian is a Civil Engineer with over 28 years of experience in the fields of engineering, procurement and construction of high-rise buildings, large residential and commercial townships, airports, hospitals and sports stadiums. He has accumulated more than 16 years of experience in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with reputed companies such as Philipp Holzmann AG, WS Atkins, GHD Global Ltd. and East Consulting Engineering Centre.
In the seven years preceding his appointment with Altair, Sathian was the Project Head for the ‘Urbana’ township development, at 12 high-rise residential towers of 40 to 60 storeys each and 51 bungalows with all amenities spread over 65 acres of land, the single most significant development in Eastern India.
Altair is intended to be a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. It is projected to be a game changer in contemporary living that will bring a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline.
Comprising of two tower blocks, one of 63 storeys which leans into a taller, 68-storey tower, Altair, located at Sir James Peiris Mawatha, Colombo 2 (the former Colombo Commercial Co. property), will offer its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. Designed by the globally-recognised celebrity architect Moshe Safdie, the development’s 1.5 million square feet of high-end eco-friendly living space, will be supported by 40,000 square feet of supportive up-market retail space. Altair residences is scheduled for completion in 2017.
Indocean is a joint venture of the six conglomerates that makes up the South City Group, which brings together over 150 years of cumulative development experience. One partner alone has a market capitalisation in excess of $ 2 billion, and  the constituent partners of the Group have completed 50 million square feet of real estate development and currently have another 20 million square feet of space under construction.