Eiri Ota

Bachelor of Architecture, Musashino Art University
Licensed First Class Architect, Japan

Eiri Ota, the principal of UUfie, is a licensed Japanese Architect with wide experience working on cultural, residential, and commercial projects. Born in Paris and educated and trained in Japan, he brings with him a highly skilled and unique international perspective. He transforms design into reality with an understanding of human scale to facilitate design from the largest to the smallest details.

After graduating from Musashino Art University, he immediately started his career at Jun Aoki and Associates in Tokyo from 2003 to 2008. He independently led several built commercial and hospitality projects such as Louis Vuitton Namiki (Japan), White Chapel (Japan), and Go-Sees Hiroo (Japan).

In addition, he has worked on the master planning and development for major projects in China (the Quindao Bath Project) and the United Kingdom (the Visitor Centre at Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site). He is highly competent in all phases from concept design to construction administration.

After founding UUfie with Irene Gardpoit in 2009 in Tokyo, he moved to Toronto, Canada. While working on Lake Cottage (completed 2013), he consulted with the interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg between 2011 and 2013. This experience exposed him to new creative processes and new clients such as Hudson’s Bay Yorkdale (Canada), Lane Crawford Shanghai (China), Park Hyatt Hangzhou (China), the Mount Nicholson Residence (Hong Kong), and Four Season Hotel Restaurant (Japan).

Today, he focuses on his partnership within UUfie, acting as principal designer and architect to forge strong relationships with collaborators and consultants. He is currently working on several projects, including a residential project in Michigan and a studio complex in Ontario. He has also been a visiting critic and lecturer at several top Canadian universities and is currently a sessional professor at the University of Toronto, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

Irene Gardpoit

Bachelor of Architecture, University of Toronto
Member, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Licensed Architect, Ontario Association of Architects

Irene Gardpoit, the principal of UUfie, is a licensed Canadian architect who specializes in project preparation, design, and development. She has extensive work experience in North America, Asia (including Central Asia), Europe, and the Middle East. Her comprehensive understanding of design and development has led her to collaborate closely with consultants and clients across numerous projects.

From 2003 to 2009, Irene worked with Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate Arata Isozaki at his Tokyo studio. She led projects for the Aga Khan Foundation, designing three educational institutions in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. Irene managed the development of the University of Central Asia Library and Landmark on each campus and was involved in the Qatar Education City Convention Center in Doha. She also served as lead design architect for Hara Museum ARC in Japan – a contemporary art museum featuring a wooden structure set within a picturesque rural landscape.

In Canada, Irene contributed to KPMB Architects’ successful proposal for the Athletes’ Village at the 2015 Pan American Games. She coordinated meetings with stakeholders, including Infrastructure Ontario (IO), Toronto Waterfront, and Dundee Kilmer Realtors. The project went on to earn the 2012 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence and the 2013 CUI Brownie Award for Best Overall Project.

Together with Eiri Ota, Irene has guided UUfie to achieve recognition for their commercial, residential, and institutional projects while also expanding into furniture, product, and installation design. Currently, she is involved in several initiatives such as new residential and commercial developments in Toronto.