Fumihiko Maki

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Fumihiko Maki
Maki at the MIT Media Lab in March 2010
Born (1928-09-06) September 6, 1928 (age 95)
Tokyo, Japan
Alma materUniversity of Tokyo (Bachelor of Architecture, 1952)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Master of Architecture, 1953)
Graduate School of Design, Harvard University (Master of Architecture, 1954)
AwardsPritzker Prize
AIA Gold Medal
PracticeMaki and Associates
BuildingsYerba Buena Center for the Arts, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, 4 World Trade Center
ProjectsExpansion of the headquarters of the United Nations in Manhattan.

Fumihiko Maki (槇 文彦, Maki Fumihiko, born September 6, 1928) is a Japanese architect. In 1993, he received the Pritzker Prize for his work, which often explores pioneering uses of new materials and fuses the cultures of east and west.[1]

Early life[edit]

Maki was born in Tokyo. After studying at the University of Tokyo and graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1952,[2] he moved to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, graduating with a master's degree in 1953. He then studied at Harvard Graduate School of Design, graduating with a Master of Architecture degree in 1954.


In 1956, he took a post as assistant professor of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also was awarded his first commission: the design of Steinberg Hall (an art center) on the university's Danforth Campus. This building remained his only completed work in the United States until 1993, when he completed the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts building in San Francisco.[3] In 2006, he returned to Washington University in St. Louis to design the new home for the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and Walker Hall.

In 1960 he returned to Japan to help establish the Metabolism Group. He worked for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in New York City and for Sert Jackson and Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts and founded Maki and Associates in 1965.

In 2006, he was invited to join the judging panel for an international design competition for the new Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Maki designed an extension building for the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was completed in 2009.[4]

After completing a $330 million expansion of the headquarters of the United Nations in Manhattan, Maki designed Tower 4 at the former World Trade Center site which opened in 2013. While it has criticized his 51 Astor Place project as "out of place," New York magazine called Tower 4 "pretty exquisite."[5]

Maki will be designing the London campus of the Aga Khan University along with a cultural centre as part of the King's Cross development project. These will be Maki's first European projects and represent the third and fourth Aga Khan projects for Maki, who also designed the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa and Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.[6] He was also assigned by the Sonja & Reinhard Ernst Stiftung to design the Museum Reinhard Ernst in Wiesbaden, Germany, to display the foundations’ collection of abstract art.[1]


Spiral Building in Tokyo, 1985
Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 2006

Maki is known for fusing modernism with Japanese architectural traditions.[7] For instance, he introduced the concept of oku, which is a spatial layout unique to Japan in which spaces wind around a structure.[8][9] This is demonstrated in the use of walls and landscape in the Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo.[10]

Maki's other notable projects include the following:

Works in progress

Gallery of works[edit]



  1. ^ "Part Laureates: Fumihiko Maki". PritzkerPrize.com. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Biography: Fumihiko Maki | The Pritzker Architecture Prize". www.pritzkerprize.com. Retrieved 2021-05-09.
  3. ^ "Fumihiko Maki - Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate - 1993". PritzkerPrize.com. Archived from the original on June 5, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c "Media Lab and SA+P Extension". MIT Facilities.
  5. ^ "The Approval Matrix". New York. November 4, 2013.
  6. ^ "Japan's Fumihiko Maki to design Aga Khan university in London". Architect Journal. 12 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Fumihiko Maki | Japanese architect". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  8. ^ Totten, Christopher W. (2019). Architectural Approach to Level Design: Second edition. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. pp. 6–58. ISBN 9780815361374.
  9. ^ Greve, Anni (2011). Sanctuaries of the City: Lessons from Tokyo. Oxon: Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 9780754677642.
  10. ^ Buntrock, Dana (2010). Materials and Meaning in Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Tradition and Today. Oxon: Routledge. p. 204. ISBN 9780415778909.
  11. ^ "Aga Khan Centre". Aga Khan Centre. Retrieved 2020-10-21.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]