Moshe Safdie - Habitat '67

1967 - present
2600 avenue Pierre-Dupuy

Internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie (1938-) first attracted attention in 1967 with the design of Habitat 67. Resembling a Lego-like cluster of blocks, the housing complex was built as part of Expo 67 and has become a landmark of architectural modernity in Montreal.

Born in Haifa, Israel, Safdie moved to Canada with his family as a young man. He studied architecture at McGill University, developing the Habitat 67 concept as part of his Master’s thesis. After completing the project, he returned to Israel, where he worked on the restoration of Old Jerusalem and the design of the new town of Modi’in. His built projects include the new Yad Vashem buildings (Jerusalem Holocaust History Museum) and Ben Gurion Airport. The architecture firm Safdie Architects today has several branch offices in locations including Somerville (Massachusetts), Toronto and Jerusalem. Safdie is the creator of numerous high-profile architectural projects in Canada, the US and elsewhere around the globe.

Safdie has taught at McGill, Yale and Ben Gurion universities. He has also served as Director of the Urban Design Program and as the Ian Woodner Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He has written several books about his vision for architecture and his projects, including Beyond Habitat (1970), Jerusalem: The Future of the Past (1989) and The City After the Automobile (1997). In 2004, Montreal filmmaker Donald Winkler made a documentary about Moshe Safdie, The Power of Architecture, with the architect’s participation. Over the years, Safdie has been the recipient of many awards and honours, including the Order of Canada and the Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. This Israeli-Canadian, who studied in Montreal and launched his career in the city, is today one of the world’s most respected architects.

Compiled by Valérie Beauchemin, translated by Helge Dascher.



Moshe Safdie: Building uniqueness
Safdie Architects - Moshe Safdie


Berger, Marilyn. Moshe Safdie : Buildings and Projects, 1967-1992. Montréal, McGill Queen’s University Press, 1996.

Elhyani, Zvi, « Fallout », Ma’ayan, hiver 2005-2006, p. 1-12. En ligne: Ben Gurion University of the Negev:

Huls, Mary Ellen. Moshe Safdie, Canadian Architect: a Bibliography. Monticello, IL: Vance Bibliographies, 1985.

The Moshe Safdie Hypermedia Archive, Canadian Architecture Collection, McGill University, 2001.

*Images courtesy of Canadian Architecture Collection at McGill University Library and Safdie Architects.