|Architects: Canadian Raymond Moriyama and American Dwight E. Holmes|
Raymond Moriyama warmly greets us and we are excorted to his office. Raymond is gentle, impeccably groomed, meticulously mannered, wise and soft spoken.
Born in Vancouver and educated in Toronto and Montreal, Moriyama is one of Canada's most respected architects.
The Canadian War Museum, in Ottawa, completed in 2005, was designed by Raymond.
|The Canadian War Museum|
Exciting, challenging, arduous, spiritual, rewarding
These words only begin to describe how I feel about designing and realizing the new Canadian War Musem. I struggled between happiness and frustration . In the process, memories of my forst foray into architecture, long ago at the age of twelve emerged from the deep crevices of my mind. Seeking solace from the degradations of life in an internment camp, I designed and secretly built a tree house on the side of Little Mountain, an elongated hill next to Slocan River in the shadow of the Rockies. However, my treehouse was not a museum but a sanctuary during wartime.
|Sketch of Treehouse, 1942-43 designed by Raymond Moriyama|
What led me to build a tree house? After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, all twenty two thousand people of Japanese ancestry living in the coastal areas of British Columbia -mostly born in Canada- were rounded up as enemy aliens and shipped inland to various camps. My father refused to be separated from my pregnant mother and had a miscarriage and I lost the only brother I ever could have had.
His company philosophy:
The Three L's
(used on each project to broaden our understanding of client, user and passive citizen needs and to address conflicts and important ideas),
1. Listen. Listen carefully to others. It is said that if you listen well enough you will have no questions to ask.
2. Learn. Strive to learn from others by listening well and by additional research.
3. Leadership. Lead with wisdom and an open heart, and work to earn leadership and respect in design.
|My gift from Raymond Moriyana|
|Image from book of the Canadian War Museum|
His book has touched my soul and has so many vitally important lessons on running a successful business in any field of design and perhaps life in general.
|Image from book - Cdn. War Museum|
He refers the Bellai Brothers who completed the concrete work to perfection on the War Museum and the many skilled workers and suppliers on the job. They are mentioned in his book as representatives of all the committed and skilled suppliers on the job. For a comtemporary architect, encountering this kind of on-site enthusiasm and pride is rare. " I felt elated by our relationship, propelled by the poem my father had given me, beautifully hand-scripted, at my high school graduation:
"Into God's temple of eterniity
Drive a nail of gold"
My father did not ask me to build the temple or even to consider designing it. A gentle teacher, he was simply asking me to drive a single nail into God's temple of eternity, just one, but one forged of gold.
End of Meeting
|Back cover of "In Search of a Soul"|
I cannot ask you, however, will be delighted if you tell me, how you have used or will use your single nail of gold. I will kindly ask: who you feel has hammered in their golden nail and where?
I promptly went to the book store and ordered a copy of: IN SEARCH OF A SOUL by Raymond Moriyama as a gift to my readers. I wish I could send each of you a copy. It is like none other. The images look like spectacular abstract paintings and are actually mostly of the interior of the Canadian War Museum. I have only briefly touched on the wisdom and beauty contained with this book. This book is a most suitable gift to young people entering into the working world and for those of us who continue to learn. It has sat on my coffee table since.
If you would like to be considered for the draw, please leave a comment. I will randomly pick one
on August 24th at 2300 hrs GMT. All readers from all countries are eligible.