Bruce Kuwabara

Partner, OC, OAA, FRAIC, AIA, RIBA

Bruce Kuwabara is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading architects. Throughout his career, his work has integrated architectural excellence, innovation, city building, and sustainable design, and has contributed to raising the standards of contemporary architecture and urbanism, in Canada and abroad. For this work, he is the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Gold Medal (2006), the Ontario Association of Architects Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), and an honorary doctorate from McMaster University (2016). In 2012 Mr. Kuwabara was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada for shaping “our built landscape in lasting ways.”

Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Mr. Kuwabara earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto in 1972. He worked at George Baird Architects and Barton Myers Associates before co-founding Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) in 1987. Since then Mr. Kuwabara’s leadership and commitment to architectural excellence has been influential in establishing KPMB as one of Canada’s premiere architectural practices, and recipient of hundreds of awards for design excellence, including 16 Governor General Awards for Architecture.

Long before climate change became a public concern, Kuwabara advocated for the integration of aesthetics and sustainable performance. As KPMB’s design principal for the Canadian Embassy in Berlin (joint venture of KPMB with Gagnon Letellier Cyr Architectes, and Smith Carter Architects + Engineers), he adapted European strategies for reducing energy consumption in architecture. These lessons would later greatly influence his future projects in Canada, particularly Manitoba Hydro Place in downtown Winnipeg, which continues to be recognized as an exemplar of ecologically innovative, energy-efficient building design.

Mr. Kuwabara’s diverse portfolio encompasses cultural, civic, educational, hospitality, healthcare, and performing arts projects across North America as well as in Europe. Notable cultural work includes Canada’s National Ballet School, the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, and the Remai Modern public art museum in Saskatchewan. Educational projects include the Kellogg School of Management at the Northwestern University, the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building and Louis A. Simpson International Building at Princeton University, and the Destination Project at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, adjacent to Arthur Erickson’s iconic University Hall (1971).

As cities continue to experience exponential population growth, Mr. Kuwabara is increasingly taking a leadership role in the formation of interdisciplinary teams to design and deliver large-scale urban infrastructure projects. This work includes winning design competition schemes for the Athlete’s Village for the 2015 Toronto Pan/Parapan Athlete’s Village/Canary District in Toronto, Pier 8 in Hamilton, Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Harbour Square Park.

Current clients include the Contemporary Calgary Art Gallery (Expansion and Renovation of the 1967 Centennial Planetarium), Boston University (Center for Computing and Data Sciences), Brookfield (Bay-Adelaide Centre North Tower), the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (CAMH), and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

A strong advocate of Canadian architecture and architects, Kuwabara has held teaching positions at the University of Toronto, Harvard University, the University of Waterloo, and Cornell University and continues to serve as a critic and guest lecturer at universities across North America. He also continues to serve on competition and award juries in Canada, the United States and Europe. Mr. Kuwabara served as the first Chair of Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel. He is the currently Chair of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal and a Member of the Campaign Cabinet for the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

Featured Projects

Boston University, Center for Computing & Data Sciences
Boston, Massachusetts, 2022
Contemporary Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, 2021
Park Hyatt, Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, 2020
Science Commons at University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge, Alberta, 2019
Landscape of Landmark Quality, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, 2020
11 Wellesley
Toronto, Ontario, 2020
Pier 8
Hamilton, Ontario, 2018 winning design competition submission
Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2018
Wilson School of Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Richmond, British Columbia, 2018
Remai Modern
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 2017
Global Centre for Pluralism
Ottawa, Ontario, 2017
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois, 2017
Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building & Louis A. Simpson International Building, Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey, 2017
Bay Adelaide East Tower and Podium
Toronto, Ontario, 2016
Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Harbour Square Park
Toronto, Ontario, 2015 winning design competition submission
St. Michael’s Cathedral Block Master Plan
Toronto, Ontario, 2015
2015 PanAm/Parapan Games Athletes’ Village | Canary District
Toronto, Ontario, 2015
Bridgepoint Active Healthcare
Toronto, Ontario, 2013
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
Toronto, Ontario, 2013
Orchestra Hall Renewal, Minnesota Orchestra
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2013
The Joseph L. Rotman School of Management Expansion, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, 2012
George Brown College, Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences
Toronto, Ontario, 2012
Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Campus
Waterloo, Ontario, 2011
Vaughan City Hall
Vaughan, Ontario, 2011
Gluskin Sheff & Associates
Toronto, Ontario, 2011
The Power Plant Gallery – Refresh
Toronto, Ontario, 2011
Maple Leaf Square (Bremner Blvd)
Toronto, Ontario, 2011
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Toronto, Ontario, 2010
Canadian Museum of Nature
Ottawa, Ontario, 2010
Manitoba Hydro Place
Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2009
Block 24 E, Railway Lands West – Neo & Montage Condominiums
Toronto, Ontario, 2009
Le Quartier Concordia
Montreal, Quebec, 2011 (Guy-Métro Building Recladding); 2009 (John Molson School of Business); 2005 (Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts)
One Bedford Residential Development
Toronto, Ontario, 2009
SugarCube
Denver, Colorado, 2008
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
Toronto, Ontario, 2008
Gardiner Museum
Toronto, Ontario, 2006
Canada’s National Ballet School, Project Grand Jeté
Toronto, Ontario, 2005
Canadian Embassy Berlin
Berlin, Germany, 2005
Art Gallery of Hamilton
Hamilton, Ontario, 2005
Centennial College Applied Research and Innovation Centre
Scarborough, Ontario, 2004
James Stewart Centre for Mathematics, McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, 2003
Ravine House
Toronto, Ontario, 2002
Star Alliance Lounge
Zürich, Switzerland, 2001
Richmond City Hall
Richmond, British Columbia, 2000
Goodman Theatre
Chicago, Illinois, 2000
McKee Public School
North York, Ontario, 1998
Ammirati Puris Lintas
New York, New York, 1997
Design Exchange
Toronto, Ontario, 1994
Kitchener City Hall
Kitchener, Ontario, 1993
Bitnami