One of the company’s notable works was the Toronto Reference Library, a lavish glass and brick structure completed in 1977. But their projects were not limited to Canada. They designed a transit mall in Buffalo to revitalize the city’s main street; the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh; and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, a glass and aluminum trapezoid floating above an open garden and plaza, built on the fourth floor of a commercial building.
And then there’s the Bata Shoe Museum, a whimsical, limestone-clad “shoebox” (or Mr. Moriyama’s interpretation of it) in downtown Toronto. It was the passion project of Sonja Bata, whose husband, Thomas Bata, was the heir to the Bata Shoe Company. Ms. Bata, who died in 2018, wanted a home where she could display her 13,000 pairs of shoes — a historically important collection representing 4,500 years of shoe art, from Inuit sealskin boots to 18th-century heels and Italian Renaissance chopines.
Mr. Moriyama is survived by his wife; three daughters, Michi, Midori, Murina; two sons, Jason and Ajon, and 10 grandchildren.
In 1985, Mr. Moriyama was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1997 he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the highest award for Canadian architecture. He retired in 2003.
Mr. Moriyama was known for his ability to listen to his clients. He often described himself as ‘a professional dumdum’ – a persistent interlocutor whose questions led to unusual structures and, at least once, to no structure at all.
When a prominent lawyer and his wife asked Mr. Moriyama to design a house for them, he recalled to The National Post in 1975: “I listened for forty minutes and discovered that they had nice houses and lots of cars and a cottage and boats. and all the rest. So I told them, okay, you don’t need an architect, you need family therapy, because an architect can’t bring you together.