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Moshe Safdie

Montreal, Optimum Publishing, 1989. 352pp, cloth, $29.95, ISBN 0-88890-212-3
Distributed by Optimum Publishing International (1984) Inc., 4255 Ste. Cath­erine St. West, Montreal, Que. H3Z1P7. CIP

Grades 12 and up/Ages 17 and up
Reviewed by Paul E. Lewis.

Volume 18 Number 2
1990 March

It is fitting that the architect who has probably had the most to do with the modem physical restructuring of one of the most historic cities of the world should tell the story himself in the first person. From his completion of Habitat in Montreal in 1968 to the National Art Gallery in Ottawa to his recent prolific work in Jerusalem, Moshe Safdie has amassed solid credentials.

The milieu that is Jerusalem is exceedingly complex. Safdie worked with a city that is a mosaic of cultures, peoples, politics and religions. His task was therefore both unique and diverse: rebuilding the Jewish Quarter; design­ing two rabbinical colleges, a memorial to the children of the Holocaust, and the master plan for the Western Wall; creating plans for Palestinian refugees, for Mamilla, the district outside the Jaffa Gate, and for an Israeli "Habitat." This is the story of each of these projects. It is Safdie's story of meeting and respecting the past and yet building for the present and the future.

Here is an insight into the intense mind of a world-class architect. This alone makes the book a worthwhile read. The author has stripped away distracting technicalities and added illuminating anecdote, line drawings and photographs. The result is highly recommended for collections that require depth in design materials and in living treasures.

Paul E. Lewis, Ridley College, St. Catherines, Ont.
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