June 5, 2012
by Canadian Architect
On May 25, 2012, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, invested Bruce Kuwabara of Toronto, Ontario, as an Officer of the Order of Canada.
According to the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, “Bruce Kuwabara has shaped our built landscape in lasting ways. A founding partner of KPMB Architects, he has earned public and critical acclaim for such projects of national significance as Canada’s National Ballet School, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the TIFF Bell Lightbox for the Toronto International Film Festival and Manitoba Hydro Place. Committed to raising the profile of Canadian architecture, he has taught at the University of Toronto and at Harvard University. He continues to act as an advocate for excellence in architecture, urbanism and sustainable design.”
Bruce Kuwabara is one of Canada’s leading architects and a recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Gold Medal. Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to raising Canadian standards in architecture and urbanism by integrating design excellence and innovation, city building and sustainable design. He was the design architect for Manitoba Hydro Place in Winnipeg, the first and only large office tower in Canada to achieve LEED Platinum Certification, to winning design competitions for civic architecture including Kitchener City Hall, Richmond City Hall, the Canadian Embassy in Berlin and Vaughn City Hall.
Kuwabara is a graduate of the University of Toronto. Prior to founding Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects with his partners Thomas Payne, Marianne McKenna and Shirley Blumberg in 1987, he worked for two prominent architects, George Baird and then Barton Myers. He is the first chair of the Waterfront Design Review Panel for Waterfront Toronto, and a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.
He is currently design architect for the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, the Departments of Economics and International Initiatives at Princeton University, the new Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Global Centre for Pluralism for the Aga Khan Foundation, and the Athletes’ Village for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.
Born in Hamilton to Japanese-Canadian parents who were interned in Vancouver during World War II, along with 26,000 people of Japanese descent, Kuwabara has sought meaningful commissions and opportunities to contribute to the communities and institutions which shaped his experience, including the design of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto and ongoing teaching and fundraising for the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.
Kuwabara says “The Order of Canada reinforces my commitment to express the unique qualities of Canada through architecture and to contribute to building an open world full of promise for future generations.”