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You may remember Moshe Safdie for his iconic Habitat ’67 housing development, that precarious heap of cubist concrete near the St. Lawrence River but far from much else in central Montreal. Today, Habitat’s hill-town form retains the excitement it generated at the city’s expo that year, but it looks a bit lost in both time and space. In any case, Safdie, a Canadian based in Somerville, Mass., went on to become much loved at home for his Musée de la Civilisation in Quebec City, his National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, and, more recently, his Colosseum-like library in Vancouver. One of his larger and more recent projects in the United States—the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles—has all the complexity that its close contemporary, Richard Meier’s nearby Getty Center, has, plus all the subtlety the Getty lacks. People seem to recognize the imagery of Safdie’s work, but his actual persona is that of a sleeper, quietly drawing away at his next civic blockbuster. See the man himself when he’s in town at 8 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $16. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Bradford McKee)