May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, a time to recognize and celebrate the vibrant cultures, histories, and contributions of Asian Canadians. This month serves as an important reminder of the rich diversity that strengthens our nation. JELD-WEN Canada, committed to diversity and inclusivity, proudly acknowledges this special observance. 

Cherry blossom

Asian Heritage Month: A Closer Look

This year, the theme for Asian Heritage Month is “Preserving the Past, Embracing the Future: Amplifying Asian Canadian Legacy.” This theme underscores the importance of acknowledging the profound influence of Asian Canadians in shaping the country’s cultural landscape. From the arts to sports, and social justice, Asian Canadians have played a crucial role in all facets of society. This month allows us to explore and celebrate the multifaceted contributions of Asian Canadians, enhancing our understanding and appreciation of their enduring impact on our national identity.

Spotlight: Raymond Moriyama

One remarkable figure in this narrative is Raymond Moriyama, a Canadian architect of Japanese descent. Born on October 11, 1929, in Vancouver, Moriyama has made significant contributions to architecture, not just in Canada but globally. His approach to architecture as a social force emphasizes an investigative, thoughtful process, aimed at creating spaces that foster community and connectivity. His work is renowned for its innovative use of space and his unique ability to blend functionality with aesthetic appeal.

New York Times

Philosophy and Influences

Moriyama’s philosophy centers around creating humane architecture that resonates with democratic ideals and cultural unity. His designs are notable for their sensitivity to human scale and context, often integrating natural landscapes seamlessly with the built environment. His personal history, including his family’s internment during World War II, deeply influenced his perspective on architecture and its societal roles. Through his architectural expressions, Moriyama seeks to bridge cultural divides and promote a sense of inclusiveness and belonging.

New York Times

Notable Projects

Raymond Moriyama’s portfolio includes iconic structures such as the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, which is a tribute to peace and remembrance, and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, a symbol of Canadian spirit and resilience. Other significant projects include:
Ontario Science Centre, Toronto
Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto
Toronto Reference Library
Ottawa’s City Hall

These buildings not only showcase innovative design but also reflect Moriyama’s commitment to creating spaces that are accessible and meaningful to all. His projects serve as landmarks not only in architectural excellence but also in cultural significance, reflecting the diverse tapestry of Canadian society.

The Architects Newspaper /  Moriyama Teshima Architects

Raymond Moriyama’s Architectural Legacy

Moriyama’s work has garnered numerous accolades, including the Governor General’s Medals for Architecture and the RAIC Gold Medal. His legacy extends beyond the buildings he has created; it lies also in his visionary approach to blending architecture with civic duty and environmental sensitivity. His dedication to these principles has set a high standard for future architects and serves as a beacon for those aspiring to make meaningful contributions through their professional endeavors.

Raymond Moriyama’s contributions beautifully illustrate the impact that Asian Canadians have had on our nation’s architectural and cultural landscapes. JELD-WEN Canada celebrates this legacy, recognizing the immense value that diversity and inclusion bring to our communities. Asian Heritage Month is not only a time to reflect on these contributions but also an opportunity to inspire future generations to continue building on this rich heritage.

Explore more Asian-inspired design with our post, “Zen vs. Industrial Interior Design Styles”. This article explores the tranquil simplicity of Zen Design, a philosophy that is deeply embedded in Asian culture and history. If you are intrigued by the raw sophistication of Industrial Design, this exploration will expand your understanding of various design philosophies. This journey is sure to enhance your appreciation of the diverse influences of Asian culture in interior design.