Canadian offers up rival to Pritzker Prize

Canadian Raymond Moriyama has put up the Moriyama RAIC award

Raymond Moriyama.
Raymond Moriyama.

A rival to the prestigious Pritzker Prize has just been announced by Canada’s Raymond Moriyama who is putting up his own award for architectural excellence.

The Moriyama RAIC (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada) International Prize will be for “the best building in the world”.

The award itself will consist of $90,000 and a sculpture designed by Wei Yew. It will be contested every two years.

“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 84-year-old Moriyama.

The prize is open to any architect, firm, or collaboration in the world for an outstanding building or project, and could also be granted to a non-architect for an exceptional contribution to the industry.

Moriyama is keen to stress the accessibility of the prize, saying: “Anybody, young or old, could apply and have a chance of winning.”

The Toronto-based architect is co-founder of Moriyama and Teshima, whose projects include the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.

Submissions for the prize will be accepted until 1 August and the inaugural award gala will take place on 11 October at the new Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, set to open this autumn.

A sidebar to the main prize will also acknowledge the next generation - three students of Canadian architecture schools will be chosen to receive scholarships of $5,000 each based on an essay-writing competition. 

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