Raymond Moriyama, architect behind iconic Canadian buildings, dies at 93

Raymond Moriyama, a renowned architect behind the design of some of Canada’s most iconic buildings, has died. He was 93 years old.

A spokesperson for the architecture firm he founded said Moriyama died on Friday, but provided few other details.

“The world has lost a visionary architect and (his family members) have lost a loved one,” read the statement from Moriyama Teshima Architects.

Moriyama is responsible for the creation of many iconic monuments in Canada and abroad, including the National War Museum, Ottawa City Hall, the Bata Shoe Museum, the Toronto, the Ontario Science Centre, the National Museum of Saudi Arabia and the Canadian Emba*sy in Tokyo.

Earlier this year, the company founded by Moriyama called on authorities to preserve the Ontario Science Center building, erected in Toronto in 1969, urging them to regenerate and use the space. The building is slated for demolition once the center moves from its current location in east Toronto to a redeveloped Ontario Place on the city’s waterfront.

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Moriyama was a highly accomplished architect who won many professional honors during his career, including the Confederation of Canada Medal and the Gold Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He was appointed to the highest level of the Order of Canada in 2008 and has received honorary degrees from 10 Canadian universities.

Moriyama also served as Chancellor of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario between 2001 and 2007, an institution where he also designed many campus buildings over the years.

Moriyama was born in Vancouver in 1929. He and his family were dispersed in internment camps established by the federal government for the forced detention of Japanese Canadians during World War II. While Moriyama and other members of his family were held in a facility in the interior of British Columbia, his father was sent to a facility in Ontario. The family’s a*sets were eventually seized and sold.

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A statement from the Canadian War Museum, which named a room after its designer in 2021, says Moriyama’s first architectural project was a tree house he built as a teenager while there. in the camp.

The family moved to Hamilton, Ontario after the war, and Moriyama earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Toronto. He went on to earn a Masters of Architecture in Urban Planning and Urbanism from McGill University in Montreal.

In a 2014 interview with Maclean’s magazine, Moriyama said he was inspired to become an architect when he was bedridden from a burn at the age of four. During this time, he watched an architect walk back and forth at a Vancouver construction site across the street.

Moriyama founded his own architectural firm in 1958. He then teamed up with Ted Teshima in 1970 to create Moriyama Teshima Architects, which the duo led until 2003 before pa*sing it on to the next generation.

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That company paid tribute to its founder in a statement on Saturday and said it would make a fuller statement about his legacy in the future.

The company said its thoughts are with Moriyama’s family and loved ones and asked for privacy to allow them to mourn this profound loss.

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow also paid tribute in a statement, calling Moriyama “the city’s pioneer builder and architect who designed many of our city’s most treasured landmarks.”

“I have spent countless hours at the Reference Library and have always come away grateful for the tranquility created by its design,” she added.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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