An iconic housing development in Montreal, Habitat 67, has been fully rendered in Unreal Engine. However, it isn’t exactly like the one that exists today. Rather, this project has rendered the original plans of Habitat 67’s architect, Moshe Safdie.
Habitat 67 began as Safdie’s thesis project at university. In 1964, he founded Safdie Architects to start work on developing it. The funding didn’t work out for his original design. However, in 1967, it was chosen to feature for Canada at Expo67, a world’s fair being held in Montreal.
The version Safdie created for Expo67 was smaller than his original plans, but still launched his career and became an architectural landmark of the city.
“I came to the conclusion that suburbs weren’t feasible in the long term,” Safdie told Archinect about why he developed Habitat 67. “They consumed too much land, energy, and transportation. If we could reinvent the apartment building to offer the quality of life of a house, with a garden, privacy, and access from an open street, people would be more willing to live in cities.”
This recreation in Unreal Engine is based on Safdie’s first vision for the project. It included 20 stories of apartments stacked on top of one another, built into a concrete hillside. There would be a street every four levels. Despite having so many units, each one had outdoor space that was “not a balcony, but a garden open to the sky.”
It was produced by Safdie Architects with Epic Games, which is behind Unreal Engine, and Neoscape, a company specializing in branding and visual storytelling. It serves as proof of the benefits brought by Habitat 67’s original design and as a way to preserve it for study going forward.
“Unreal Engine is more than just a tool for architects, it can open up whole new worlds and ideas,” said Safdie to Archinect. “This is exactly what we need to rethink how our cities are made. I hope that making this model accessible to the public at large and the idea that you could live somewhere like Habitat 67 helps advance people’s desire to have this realized.”
You can see a cinematic of the project below or explore it yourself here.
Image credit: Epic Games, Neoscape, Safdie Architects
Source: Unreal Engine Via: Engadget