McMaster University recently awarded acclaimed architect Bruce Kuwabara an honourary degree at its fall convocation ceremony. The post-secondary institution’s president and vice-chancellor, Patrick Deane, recognized Kuwabara as “one of Canada’s best known, most awarded and most influential architects.”
Kuwabara completed his Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1972 at the University of Toronto. He went on to co-found the world-renowned KPMB Architects after honing his craft at George Baird Architect and Barton Myers Associates.
He received the McMaster University degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on Nov. 17 in his hometown, Hamilton.
“I am dedicating this honourary degree to my parents — Mas and Esther — who along with 22,000 Japanese Canadian survived three years and nine months of internment as enemy aliens of Canada during the Second World War,” said Kuwabara. “For me, architecture is the vehicle through which I have discovered the world and my identity as a Canadian of Japanese ancestry.
“Architecture is ultimately an agent of change to make the world we want: a world of enriching landscapes and vibrant cities that support engagement, creativity, innovation, sustainability, understanding, pluralism, and wellness.”
Kuwabara’s award-winning work, McMaster’s James Stewart Centre for Mathematics, which earned a Governor General’s Medal, can be found in the U.S., Europe and Canada. He was also inducted into the Order of Canada in 2012 for his architectural contributions and is noted for his beautifully understated, highly functional aesthetic.
Kuwabara has made his mark on facilities spanning the country, including Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Nature, Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox and Winnipeg’s Manitoba Hydro Place. Princeton University’s 20 Washington Rd. and Saskatchewan’s Remai Modern Art Gallery are among his current projects slated to open next year.
Kuwabara has taught at Cornell and Harvard universities as well as the University of Toronto and University of Waterloo. He continues to guest lecture at North American post-secondary institutions and sit on competition juries at home and abroad.
Kuwabara has chaired Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel since 2005 and also currently serves as chair of Montreal’s Canadian Centre for Architecture and member of the campaign cabinet for Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto.