Architect Raymond Moriyama launches $100K prize

Celebrated Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama is launching a $100,000 prize this fall that is being billed as one of the largest architectural prizes in the world.

Moriyama RAIC International Prize awarded every two years for an outstanding building or project

Raymond Moriyama, seen in Ottawa in 2009, has established a biennial, $100,000 international architecture prize to celebrate an outstanding building or project. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Celebrated Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama is launching a $100,000 prize this fall that is being billed as one of the largest architectural prizes in the world.

Established jointly with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Foundation, the Moriyama RAIC International Prize will celebrate an outstanding building or project by an architect, a group of collaborators or an international firm anywhere in the world.

Alternately, the prize could also be awarded to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the field of architecture.

The $100,000 prize will be awarded every two years and will be accompanied by a handcrafted sculpture by Canadian artist Wei Yew — a distinctive trophy that will depict abstractions of the Canadian landscape.

Each winner will be chosen through an open, juried competition.

"My hope is that this prize will raise not only the stature of the RAIC internationally, but also the stature of Canada, and inspire Canadians and Canadian architects to aspire higher," the 84-year-old Moriyama said in a statement.

"Anybody, young or old could apply and have a chance of winning."

Inaugural gala this fall

The Vancouver-born Moriyama made a bequest to the RAIC Foundation to create the prize and organizers aim to raise a $5-million endowment for the honour.

Submissions for the fledgling prize will be accepted until Aug. 1 and the inaugural award gala will take place on Oct. 11 at the new Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, set to open this fall.

A sidebar to the main prize will also acknowledge the next generation: three students of Canadian architecture schools will be chosen to receive scholarships of $5,000 each based on an essay-writing competition.

A companion of the Order of Canada and one of the country's best-known architects, Moriyama has created innovative projects across the country and abroad, including the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.

Working with his longtime business partner Ted Teshima and others, he also designed Science North in Sudbury, Ont., the Scarborough Civic Centre, the Toronto Reference Library, the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, the National Museum of Saudi Arabia and the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.


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