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Spotlight: Fumihiko Maki

Pritzker Prize laureate and 67th AIA Gold Medalist Fumihiko Maki (born September 6, 1928) is widely considered to be one of Japan's most distinguished living architects, practicing 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."

Maki to Make UK Debut with New Building for Aga Khan Development Network

Maki and Associates has submitted plans for their first UK building. As the Architects' Journal reports, the Japanese firm has designed a nine story, 8,780-square-meter educational space for the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) - a group of non-denominational agencies focused on improving the welfare of people in developing areas in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The predominately limestone building pulls cues from its context; its facade is derived from the space within, which in turn responds to the surrounding Kings Cross site. 

Fumihiko Maki Commissioned to Design China's First Design Museum

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

Birds-eye view. Image © China Merchants Property Development & Maki and Associates Model of the Shekou Museum. Image © China Merchants Property Development & Maki and Associates Model of the Shekou Museum. Image © China Merchants Property Development & Maki and Associates Model of the Shekou Museum. Image © China Merchants Property Development & Maki and Associates

Fumihiko Maki to design Cultural Center and University in London

Fumihiko Maki © Imogene Tudor
Fumihiko Maki © Imogene Tudor

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.

Ground Zero Master Plan / Studio Daniel Libeskind

WTC Site Night, Silverstein Properties, New York © Silverstein Properties
WTC Site Night, Silverstein Properties, New York © Silverstein Properties

With last year’s opening of the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero and the near-completion of the World Trade Center One, Daniel Libeskind’s vision for the World Trade Center site is close to presenting the future of NYC’s downtown financial center, 11 years after the attacks. Studio Daniel Libeskind was selected to develop the master plan for the site in 2003, and since has been coordinating with NYC’s numerous agencies and individual architects to rebuild the site. The project, in Libeskind’s words, is a “healing of New York”, a “site of memory” and “a space to witness the resilience of America”.

Follow us after the break for more on the elements and progress of the master plan.

Architecture City Guide: Boston

For this week the Architecture City Guide series headed to the city of Boston including neighboring Cambridge just across the Charles River Basin. This area has an overwhelmingly large amount of modern architecture in a small radius, and our list reflects just that. What buildings do you want to see added to our Boston list, share them with us in the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Boston list and corresponding map after the break!

Fumihiko Maki 2011 AIA Gold Medal Winner

© Imogene Tudor
© Imogene Tudor

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.