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 with expertise in project preparation, design, and development, with substantial work experience in North America, Asia (including Central Asia), Europe, and the Middle East. Her in-depth knowledge of design and development has evolved over the past seventeen years of extensive work in the field and with consultants and clients. Working in design and architecture, she has led planning and administration for internationally recognized and award-winning built projects.

From 2003-2009, Irene worked for Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Arata Isozaki at his studio in Tokyo.  Irene led projects for the Aga Khan Foundation for three educational institutions in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. She designed and project-managed the University of Central Asia Library and Landmark for campuses in each country, as well as for the Qatar Education City Convention Center in Doha. Working closely with Arata Isozaki, she was also the lead design architect for a contemporary art museum, Hara Museum ARC, in Japan, which features a wooden structure situated within a rural landscape, an integration of art, architecture, and environment.

In Canada, she played a role in KPMB Architects’ winning submission for the Athletes’ Village for the 2015 Pan American Games. She  coordinated meetings prioritizing the program needs with several shareholders, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Toronto Waterfront, and Dundee Kilmer Realtors. The project received the 2012 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence and 2013 CUI Brownie Award, Best Overall Project.

Irene, in partnership with Eiri Ota, has led UUfie to achieve award-winning commercial, residential, and institutional projects in addition to expanding the studio into furniture, product, and installation design. She is currently engaged in several projects, including a new residential and commercial development in Toronto.