UUfie is an interdisciplinary research-based architecture studio, founded in 2009 by partners Irene Gardpoit and Eiri Ota in Tokyo, Japan. Since 2013, the studio has been based in Toronto, Canada. UUfie’s work spans the fields of art, architecture, landscape, furniture, and product design. UUfie’s work speaks to the natural world, and to that end the studio celebrates experimentation, diversity, and site-specificity with an aim to create “experiences of transition” that evoke nature in all of its work.

Projects ranging from modern residential houses, high concept commercial spaces and innovative workplaces, every project is unique yet unified by working in a highly participatory and collaborative method. While continuing to push for innovation and experimentation, the studio addresses the specific features and potential of a particular situation, embracing them into the project while responding to the requirements of the program. 

UUfie has completed an extensive portfolio of local and international projects. Standout architectural projects include the Ports 1961 Shanghai; the Printemps Haussmann; and Lake Cottage, a two-story family home along the lake that references of being in a tree house. Notable furniture and object designs include Yin Yang Table; Echo TableWhiteout Vases; and Peacock, a set of chairs embodying the frozen moment of the plumage of their namesake.  

The studio has been recognized with numerous awards, including the RAIC Emerging Architectural Practice Award, The Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices Award, Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard Award, American Architecture Prize, A&D Trophy, OAA Design Excellence Award and Project of the Year from Interior Design Magazine. It has also appeared in over 100 major publications and showcased in several galleries, museums and exhibitions including, Galleria Rossana Orlandi, Design Exchange, Guild Design Fair, Design Miami and Museo Bagatti Valsecchi.

We have learned that the practice of sustainability is essential, and fostering a relationship with nature in the very design of our architecture is a way to educate people to care about the environment. Sustainable design practices have become a definitive component of our integrated approach. For example, the façade of Ports 1961 Shanghai is not only visually appealing but also greatly affects the well-being and safety of its occupants. Acting as a double skin, its envelope retains heat and cools the building while allowing light into the interior. In our proposal for the Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki, we also employed this double skin system in an almost extreme way that integrated greenhouse technology with a centralized space that used plants to create a “living” space that purifies the air while providing a green landscape that can be enjoyed year-round.

Built environments are meant to be livable, functional, resilient, and sustainable. By working closely with our clients, we can customize sustainable solutions that are achievable for them and can evolve with their changing needs. The practice of sustainability is a commitment to creating adaptive solutions that make positive contributions to communities by promoting the natural world that inspires and empowers us. Our work encourages people to value and care more about their environment.


2019 Emerging Architectural Practice Award, The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
2019 Emerging Voices Award, The Architectural League of New York
2018 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, Nominee, Lake Cottage
2018 Best of Canada Award, Canadian Interiors, Echo Table
2018 Jury Prize, Canadian Interiors, Echo Table
2018 Best of Canada Award, Canadian Interiors, Printemps Haussmann
2017 Design Vanguard Award, Architectural Record
2017 World Architecture Festival Award, Finalist, Printemps Haussmann
2017 American Architecture Prize, Winner of Renovation, Printemps Haussmann
2017 American Architecture Prize, Winner of Small Project, Lake Cottage
2017 Making Model, Art Museum, Winner “Wa-Wa”
2017 Good Design Award, Japan Design, Best 100, Printemps Haussmann
2017 Design Excellence Finalist, OAA, Ports 1961 Shanghai
2016 A&D Trophy Award, Design Excellence Certification, Ports 1961 Shanghai
2016 Canada Council for the Arts, International Residencies Program in Visual Arts
2016 Winners of the MOS Designer Residency Competition
2016 Longlisted for WAN Façade Award,  Ports 1961 Shanghai
2016 4th Place, DARC Award, Ports 1961 Shanghai
2016 Shortlisted for Alvar Aalto MUSEO Competition
2016 Designlines Love Tag, Designlines, Breath
2016 Twenty + Change for Emerging Practices
2015 Shortlisted for WoodWork Award, Lake Cottage
2015 Shortlisted for A2 Asia Architecture Award, Ports 1961 Shanghai
2015 Shortlisted for Chicago Kiosk Competition
2015 Canada Council for the Arts, Travel Grants to Professionals in the Visual Arts
2015 Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award, OAA, Lake Cottage
2015 Design Excellence Award,OAA, Lake Cottage
2015 Juror Choice Award, Toronto Design Off-Site, Sea Grey
2015 Designlines Love Tag, Designlines, Sea Grey
2014 Project of Year, Canadian Interiors, Lake Cottage
2013 1st Prize, Printemps Haussemann Competition
2012 Silver Award, IDS, Peacock
2009 Honor Award, Hokkaido Furniture Competition


2019 Emerging Voices, New York
2018 Midday Talk, University of Toronto
2017 BEAT, Women in Architecture, Toronto, Canada
2017 World Architecture Festival, Berlin, Germany
2017 The Winter Arriscraft Lecture, University of Waterloo
2017 Design Talk, New York, Design Pavilion
2016 Officina Creativa dell’Abitare, Montalcino, Italy


2018 Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2018 MIART, Milan
2018 Galleria Rossanna Orlandi, Milan, Italy
2017 Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design, Toyama, Japan
2017 Art Museum, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
2017 Galleria Rossanna Orlandi, Milan, Italy
2017 MIART, Milan
2017 Themes and Variation, London, UK
2017 Naturkundemuseum, Graz, Austria
2017 Riverside Gallery, Cambridge, Canada
2016 London Design Week, London, UK
2016 Officina Creativa dell’Abitare, Montalcino, Italy
2016 Gladstone Hotel, “Come Up To My Room”, Toronto, Canada
2015 Urbanspace Gallery, “Twenty + Change”, Toronto, Canada
2015 Design Exchange, Toronto, Canada
2014 Bagatti Valsecchi Museum, “Untold” Exhibition, Milan, Italy
2014 Milano Salone Del Mobile, Milan, Italy
2014 Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
2014 Canada Bloom, Toronto, Canada
2014 Guild Design Fair, Cape Town, South Africa
2013 Design Miami/Basel, Miami, USA
2013 Galleria Rossana Orlandi, Milan, Italy
2012 Interior Design Show, Toronto, Canada