Fumihiko Maki, Pritzker Prize laureate and founder of Metabolism, 1928–2024

Fumihiko Maki. Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Fumihiko Maki, renowned Japanese architect and founder of the Metabolism movement, has died in his Tokyo home aged 95, his office Maki and Associates announced.

Born in Tokyo in 1928 Maki studied architecture at the University of Tokyo under modernist architect Kenzo Tange before moving to the US to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, then the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where he later served as a faculty member in 1960. 

Upon returning to Japan in 1965, Maki started his own firm and initiated the Metabolism Group along with three other students of Tange. The movement sees society and architectural design as processual rather than static, proposing buildings that often feature modular forms and plugin capsules that evoke a sense of organic growth. 

In 1993, Maki won the Pritzker Prize, in which he was recognised as ‘a Modernist who has fused the best of both eastern and western cultures’. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 2011. Some of Maki’s best known projects include the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (1993), the MIT Media Lab extension (2009), Tower 4 at the former World Trade Center (2013) and most recently Aga Khan Centre in London (2018).

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