Moriyama RAIC International Prize aims to raise stature of Canada

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Foundation announces the launch of one of the largest architectural prizes in the world – the Moriyama RAIC International Prize.

Distinguished Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama established the prize together with the Foundation. To be awarded every two years, the prize consists of CAD $100,000 and a sculpture designed by Canadian designer Wei Yew.

“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,” says Moriyama, 84.

The prize is open to any architect, firm, or collaboration in the world for an outstanding building or project. It may also be granted to a non-architect for an exceptional contribution to architecture. The winner will be selected through an open juried competition.

Submissions are due by August 1, 2014. The first award ceremony takes place in Toronto on October 11, 2014.

In addition, three students of Canadian schools of architecture will each scholarships of CAD $5,000. They will be chosen on the basis of a written essay.

The prize reflects Raymond Moriyama’s passion for architecture that has the power to transform society through humanistic values such as social justice, equality and inclusivity.

“It is not a lifetime achievement award,” he says. “Anybody, young or old, could apply and have a chance of winning.” Criteria include design excellence, client satisfaction, and quality of detail.

The idea first came to Moriyama in 1976 while on a three-month walk in the footsteps of Buddha through India and Nepal. More recently, he made a gift to the RAIC Foundation to create the prize.

Toronto-based Moriyama & Teshima Architects is known for many critically acclaimed projects including the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.

The Foundation promotes excellence in architecture and exchange between Canadian and international architects, clients, and policy-makers. Supported by donations, it aims to raise a $5-million endowment for the prize.

“Raymond Moriyama conducted his practice with a rare degree of humanity and humility,” says Barry Johns, chair of the RAIC Foundation Board of Trustees. “The prize is a testament to his vision and generosity.”

Prize details can be found at

Moriyama’s biography can be viewed at