Through the years, Raymond Moriyama has distinguished himself as a designer of innovative projects across Ontario in which the space pleases the public for whom the buildings were intended. The Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library (1977), winner of a Governor General's Medal for Architecture; the Scarborough Civic Centre (1973); and Sudbury's Science North (1984), also the winner of a Governor General's Medal, are among these major projects. His work has ranged in scale from the design of an award-winning Japanese ceremonial bell, the Goh Ohn Bell at Ontario Place, to long-term, environmentally sensitive planning projects such as the 100 Year Vision for Niagara Falls (1988) and the vast master plan for Saskatchewan's Meewasin Valley (1979).
In 1995 Raymond Moriyama completed the innovative Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Its outward tilting limestone walls and 2-storey glass entrance occupy one of Toronto's major architectural sites at Bloor and St George streets. In 1996 construction was completed on another innovative project, Casino Rama, Ontario's first native casino, built on the Rama Reserve north of Toronto.
The Embassy of Canada to Japan in Tokyo, located on a prestigious site adjacent to the Akasaka Imperial Grounds and the Takahashi Memorial Park in Tokyo (1991) is designed so that its roof form recalls a temple.
The firm won an international competition to design the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, which opened in the capital city Riyadh in 1999. Working with several international partners, the firm designed a remarkable building that incorporates welcome courtyards, water, and a sweeping wall faced in local limestone.
The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, which opened in May 2005 (designed in joint venture with Griffiths, Rankin, Cook Architects), is devoted to exploring the themes of memory and regeneration. The building, featuring unusual, splintered geometries and soaring, dramatic interior spaces filled with natural light, is rich with underlying meaning. It is notable not only for its recognized excellence in architecture and for contributing to a revitalization of the LeBreton Flats area of Ottawa but also because of its symbolic connotations - that Raymond Moriyama, who was with his family interned during the Second World War because of his Japanese ancestry, eventually designed one of Canada's most prominent museums. Moriyama describes the genesis of the building as well as its underlying meaning in a 2006 book, In Search of a Soul. Lauded as an "iconic national monument," the building serves as a fitting culmination to Raymond Moriyama's career.
With Raymond Moriyama and long-time partner Ted Teshima now serving as partners emeriti and consultants in the firm, a new generation has assumed direction. Partners include Raymond Moriyama's sons Ajon and Jason Moriyama, and Diarmuid Nash and Daniel Teramura.
The firm continues to gain significant projects in Canada and around the world for clients in both the public and private sectors, with particular emphasis on university and cultural projects. Particularly notable among these is the proposed Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre, located on a generous 17-acre site in Wynford Park in Toronto. Moriyama & Teshima are the architects of record for the complex, which will include the Aga Khan Museum (design architect Fumihiko Maki with Maki and Associates), the Ismaili Centre and Jamatkhana (design architect Charles Correa Associates). The project will also include landscaped gardens designed by the Beirut-based landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture in collaboration with Moriyama & Teshima Planners.
Raymond Moriyama is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the 2010 Sakura Award from the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, for the building that his firm designed in 1958 and for his life-long contributions to Japanese culture in Canada and abroad. He is a member of the ORDER OF ONTARIO, the ORDER OF CANADA and the Order of the Rising Sun (Japan). Other awards include the Gold Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Confederation of Canada Medal and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arts Foundation of Greater Toronto. He has won Governor General's Awards for Architecture and has been granted honorary degrees from 10 universities.
Moriyama has stated that for him, "architecture is a relentless, investigative process that must be concerned with human, ecological, technical, economic, and aesthetic issues," and his work embodies that principle.
Author SUSAN FORD Revised: GEOFFREY SIMMINS
Links to Other Sites
This beautifully illustrated site explores the relationship between East and West from earliest times to the present with a focus on the very complex Asian experience in Canada. Search for specific topics and themes. From the Historica-Dominion Institute.
Moriyama & Teshima Architects
The website for Moriyama & Teshima Architects. Features an overview of their many Canadian and international projects, including the Ontario Science Centre and the Canadian War Museum.
Moriyama & Teshima Architects Fonds
This Archives of Ontario website features selected drawings and photographs of notable Ontario buildings designed by Moriyama & Teshima Architects.
Canadian Architectural Archives
An online archive featuring profiles of prominent Canadian architects and images of selected works. From the University of Calgary.
Governor General's appointments to the Order of Canada
Scroll down the page and click on the links to brief biographical notes of recent appointees to the Order of Canada. Click on "Find a Recipient" on the left side of the page to find previous recipients. From the website for the Governor General of Canada.
In Search of a Soul : Designing the New Canadian War Museum
The website for "In Search of a Soul: Designing the New Canadian War Museum," architect Raymond Moriyama's personal account of conceiving, designing, and building the new Canadian War Museum. Features an online photo gallery of exterior and interior views of this monumental structure.
Besides hockey and the maple leaf, there is little as symbolically Canadian as the CBC – the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It grew out of a developing nation's need to express its identity and find its voice.