Raymond Moriyama, Designer of Humane Public Spaces, Dies at 93

One of the agency’s standout works was the Toronto Reference Library, a beneficiant glass and brick construction, accomplished in 1977. But their tasks weren’t confined to Canada. They designed a transit mall in Buffalo to revitalize town’s predominant road; the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh; and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, a glass and aluminum trapezoid that hovers above an open backyard and plaza constructed on the fourth story of a business constructing.

And then there’s the Bata Shoe Museum, a whimsical limestone-clad “shoebox” — or Mr. Moriyama’s interpretation of one — in downtown Toronto. It was the eagerness mission of Sonja Bata, whose husband, Thomas Bata, was the inheritor to the Bata Shoe Company. Ms. Bata, who died in 2018, wished a house to exhibit her 13,000 pairs of sneakers — a traditionally essential assortment representing 4,500 years of shoe artistry, from sealskin Inuit boots to 18th-century heels and chopines from the Italian Renaissance.

Mr. Moriyama is survived by his spouse; three daughters, Michi, Midori, Murina; two sons, Jason and Ajon, and 10 grandchildren.

In 1985, Mr. Moriyama was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1997, he obtained the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Gold Medal, Canadian structure’s highest honor. He retired in 2003.

Mr. Moriyama was famous for his capacity to hearken to his purchasers. He typically described himself as “a professional dumdum” — a dogged interlocutor whose questions led to some extraordinary constructions and, at least as soon as, to no construction at all.

When a distinguished lawyer and his spouse requested Mr. Moriyama to design a home for them, he recalled to The National Post in 1975, “I listened for 40 minutes and found out they had nice homes and many, many cars and a cottage and boats and all the rest. So I told them, OK, you don’t need an architect, you need family counseling, because an architect can’t fuse you together.”

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