Fumihiko Maki, the Pritzker Prize laureate and 67th AIA Gold Medalist, turns 86 today. Widely considered to be one of Japan's most distinguished living architects, Maki practices a unique style of Modernism that reflects his Japanese origin. Toshiko Mori has praised Maki's ability to create "ineffable atmospheres" using a simple palette of various types of metal, concrete, and glass. His consistent integration and adoption of new methods of construction as part of his design language contribute to his personal quest to create "unforgettable scenes."
The Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki has revealed early designs for China's "first major design museum", a project in the Shekou district of Shenzhen commissioned by China Merchants Group (CMG) in collaboration with London's V&A Museum. The design model was unveiled yesterday at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, where representatives of CMG and the V&A signed a collaboration agreement to deliver the museum, which is hoped to open at the end of 2016.
Maki's design for the Shekou Museum features three severely cantilevered volumes atop a deconstructed plinth; a staircase at the corner of the building also leads to the green public space on the roof.
More on the project after the break
Though it seemed a compromise was met last October, when Japan’s minister of education, Hakubun Shimomura announced plans to reduce the cost and scale of the Zaha Hadid-designed Tokyo Olympic Stadium, the debate rages on.
Pritzker laureates Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki have launched an online petition to “defend the ginko tree-lined landscape of blue sky and Jingu Outer Gardens” from the construction of Hadid’s “oversized” stadium.
The petition (now with more than 13,000 signatures) urges the Japan Sports Council, who hand selected Hadid’s winning design alongside Tadao Ando, to reconsider upgrading the existing Meiji Jingo Gaien Stadium and the gardens surrounding it. This solution, they believe, is a more affordable and sustainable alternative that would prevent the relocation of nearby residents.
Take a tour though Zaha Hadid’s 2020 Olympic Stadium and share your thoughts about the design (and petition), after the break...
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports that Japan's minister of education, Hakubun Shimomura, has announced a plan to trim the budget proposed for the Olympic stadium (now expected to cost $3 billion) designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. While he did not reveal the details of the scale-down, he maintained that the "design concept will be kept."
Pritzker Prize laureate Fumihiko Maki has rallied together a number of Japanese architects - including Sou Fujimoto, Toyo Ito and Kengo Kuma - to oppose the massive scale of Zaha Hadid’s competition-winning National Stadium. Planned to be Tokyo’s main venue for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, Hadid’s 290,000 square meter stadium is accused of being “too big and too artificial” for the surrounding context.
Almost sixty years after Wallace K. Harrison was invited to design the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York City, plans have been unveiled for another UN skyscraper designed by Fumihiko Maki which would "consolidate currently scattered operations into a single structure that would rise on the western portion of the Robert Moses Playground, on First Avenue between East 41st and 42nd streets."
Japanese modernist Fumihiko Maki has been chosen to design a cultural and university complex on a 67-acre Kings Cross development in London. As reported by the Evening Standard, the 84-year-old, Pritzker Prize-winning architect will design two buildings for the Aga Khan Development Network – an organization who leads the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims. The two projects are among five, totaling a half million square feet, that are being commissioned by the Network at Kings Cross. It is unsaid of who will design the other three buildings. However, preliminary designs studies are under way and formal appointments will be announced shortly.
Yesterday, the final steel beam rose 977 feet into the air and was placed atop 4 World Trade Center – the 72-story tower designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. As gospel singer BeBe Winans sang “God Bless America”, the 8 ton beam, signed by all members of the team and adorned with an American flag, reached its final destination atop the city’s sixth tallest tower. At over 80 years of age, Maki is making his New York debut in an elegant manner. The tower was designed to serve as a “respectful backdrop” to the National September 11 Memorial and not to compete with 1 World Trade. ”This is a special place with a sacred meaning and we felt we had to be respectful,” explained Osamu Sassa, Maki’s project architect, to The New York Times. Such a ideology offers a strong contrast with the other architectural statements that will eventually rise as part of the World Trade Center complex, such as Norman Foster’s 2 World Trade and Richard Roger’s 3 World Trade. While the minimalism of Maki may have kept the design under the radar during its design and construction stages, the grace of its simplicity will craft a dignified presence while visiting the site. ”The design of the tower at 150 Greenwich has two fundamental elements – a ‘minimalist’ tower that achieves an appropriate presence, quiet but with dignity, and a ‘podium’ that becomes a catalyst for activating the surrounding urban streetscape as part of the revitalization of lower Manhattan,” explained Maki. More about 4 World Trade after the break.
The AIA New Orleans chapter will also be providing a variety of educational tours that explore the soulful flavor of the city’s architecture. There is still time to register for the convention, more information can be found here.
In recognition of his contributions to architecture in both theory and practice Fumihiko Maki was recently named the 2011 AIA Gold Medal Winner. Maki, arguably one of Japan’s most distinguished living architects, will be honored with the award in New Orleans at the AIA National Convention. “He has a unique style of Modernism that is infused with an ephemeral quality and elegance which reflects his Japanese origin. What stands out most about Mr. Maki is the consistent quality of his work at the highest caliber and the creation of ineffable atmospheres; his buildings convey a quiet and elegant moment of reflection,” colleague Toshiko Mori, FAIA, said of Maki. Also noteworthy is Fumihiko Maki’s close working relationship with each employee. Forty architects, urban planners, and administrative personnel, make up the staff of Maki and Associates, which is the type of working environment where each member is involved in and responsible for all aspects of projects. Maki himself is at the head of each commission and maintains the leadership role through to completion, including construction supervision. Established in 1965 Maki and Associates throughout its 42 years has been based in Tokyo, Japan. Maki studied at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art, but has spent the majority of his life in Japan. Examples of Maki’s work include: The Spiral in Tokyo, Japan The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California The Kaze-No-Oka Crematorium in Kyushu, Japan Triad in Nagano, Japan The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Maki is the 67th AIA Gold Medalist and joins a prestigious list including Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Renzo Piano, I.M. Pei, Cesar Pelli, Santiago Calatrava and last year’s recipient, Peter Bohlin, FAIA. He has received numerous awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1993.