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Sri Lanka 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.

 

Flow of investments from Oman to Sri Lanka on the upswing

June 15, 2016

Extracted from Times of Oman

A large number of Omanis are turning to Sri Lanka to invest in property, infrastructure development and the farming sector, officials said.

Speaking to Times of Oman, Anselm Perera, CEO of Business Process Outsourcing Services LLC (BPOS) Oman, who coordinated one such delegation, claimed Sri Lanka became a good place for investors after the civil war ended on May 18, 2009.

“Since then, we have seen a surge in investors from around the globe,” he noted.

The team coordinated by Perera was led by Saeed Saleh Saeed Al Kiyumi, chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Besides investing in farming, Omanis are also buying residential properties in Sri Lanka. “The Omani delegation which visited Sri Lanka also held discussions with reputed high-rise residential development agency Altair about buying some apartments,” he added.

“People are investing as they can expect rental yields of 8 to 10 per cent and capital gains of more than 10-12 per cent in the luxury apartment sector in Sri Lanka,” Perera said. Further, investors receive capital gains on the resale of apartments, which in some cases are tax free for foreign nationals.

Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, Altair is offering 400 apartments with 1.5 million square feet of living space supported by 40,000 square feet of retail space. The building is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Interestingly, tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka from Oman have also been increasing in recent years. “Besides business travel, we are expecting around 20,000 tourist arrivals from Oman in 2016,” said Deepal Pallegangoda, Country Manager Oman, Mihin Lanka, said.

In 2015, 14,216 tourists from Oman visited Sri Lanka. “Because of the economic crisis, many people are shunning holidays in Europe and looking for cheaper options, like Sri Lanka, where they can get greater value for their money,” travel agents stated.

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.

Development Progress for May 2015 – Completion of 1st Milestone

May 13, 2015

Foundation stages of both the Sloping and Vertical Towers in ALTAIR, have been successfully completed with the final raft casting of 3000 M³ being completed on 30th April 2015.
Accordingly, we are firmly on track for timely completion in 2018, the renowned Residential Properties in Sri Lanka.

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