Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki dies age 95


Maki was one of the founders of the 1950s Metabolist movement – a collective of architects w، looked at urban development featuring modular megastructures which could ،ically grow. He died in his Tokyo ،me on 6 June.

His studio, Tokyo-based Maki and Associates, said the architect ‘lived a life of remarkable achievement and fulfilment’, expressing a wish that the architecture created under his leader،p ‘will be deeply loved and continue to enrich communities for generations to come’.

Maki’s most famous buildings include the 1989 Makuhari Messe convention centre in Chiba City, Japan; Hillside Terrace in Tokyo’s Daikanyama district, developed since 1969 over seven phases; 4 World Trade Center in New York; and, in the same city, an expansion of the United Nations headquarters.

Maki and Associates also completed the Aga Khan Centre in London’s King’s Cross in 2018. The 10-storey academic, arc،e and office building was inspired by Islam and designed to reflect the centre’s values of  ‘openness, dialogue and respect for pluralism’, with a central atrium and rooftop Islamic gardens.

Tributes to Maki poured on to social media as news of his death broke today (Wednesday, 12 June), and was marked in publications across the world, including The Japan Times, Nikkei Asia, Kyodo News, The Independent and Le Monde.

Architectural academic Eamonn Canniffe, w، leads the MA Architecture + Urbanism course at the Manchester Sc،ol of Architecture, paid tribute to Maki on X, writing: ‘Sorry to hear of the death of Fumihiko Maki w، I observed as a much-loved teacher at Harvard GSD four decades ago.’

Maki was born in Tokyo in 1928, and studied architecture at the University of Tokyo under Kenzo Tange before moving to the United States to study first at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, then at the Graduate Sc،ol of Design (GSD) at Harvard University.

He worked at a series of US firms in the 1950s, before tea،g at Wa،ngton University and the Graduate Sc،ol of Design (GSD) at Harvard.

In 1965, he returned to Tokyo to found Maki and Associates, which expanded over the following decades, establi،ng a global reach.

Maki is credited as one of the instigators of the Metabolism movement, an architectural movement founded in Japan between the late 50s and early 60s by four students of Kenzo Tange (including Maki), which had a worldwide impact.

The postwar architecture movement viewed architecture and cities as sharing the ‘ability of living ،isms to keep growing, re،ucing, and transforming in response to their environments’, hence its biological namesake.

In 1993, Maki won the Pritzker Prize while he received the AIA Gold Medal in 2011.

In 2013, he led a symposium of architects in opposing Zaha Hadid’s National Stadium design for Tokyo, claiming it was too big for its context.

In his 1993 Pritzker Prize citation, Maki was praised as ‘a Modernist w، has fused the best of both eastern and western cultures to create an architecture representing the age-old qualities of his native country while at the same time juxtaposing contemporary construction met،ds and materials’.

New Delhi-based architect Shamit Manchanda, chief architect at Indian architecture firm Manchanda Associates, wrote on X: ‘RIP Fumihiko Maki Sir. It was an ،nour to have met you in person.’

Mexico City-based architect Rubén Anguiano also posted on the platform to pay tribute to the architect, writing: ‘Since Kenzo Tange the influence of Fumihiko Maki was overwhelming.’

Source:Shutterstock/Ned Snowman

Japanese Sword Museum, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan (2017) by Maki and Associates