Naomi Kriss

I grew up living in Canada and abroad, particularly in England and France. My mother took this opportunity to show my brother and I many great buildings: museums, castles, palaces and churches.

I was about 4 years old when she took us to see the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. I was struck by the sublime experience of moving from daylight into darkness, up the tight spiral staircase and then into such a breathtaking, soaring and thoroughly beautiful place. I was amazed that a building could so clearly convey the prestige of French culture, the eminence of the king and the power of Christianity. Why did we (Jews) not have such elaborate buildings? Why did architecture in Canada not impress on me that way? What did famous buildings at home such as the CN Tower or Casa Loma convey about Canada? Why was there no longer a French king?

I have spent the rest of my life seeking buildings that delight and I have made a career of promoting contemporary architecture. I hope that through my work people will discover buildings in Canada that will inspire, exhilarate and prompt questions about culture, identity and belonging.