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Happy Birthday, Maki!

Today, 6 September 2015, the world of architecture celebrates the 87th birthday of Fumihiko Maki. The award-winning architect was born in Tokyo in 1928.

After earning his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tokyo in 1952, he moved to Michigan, US to continue his studies in Cranbrook Academy of Art and earned his Master of Architecture one year later. He received his second Master of Architecture from Harvard University in the following year.

He started to work as an assistant professor at Washington University at St. Louis in 1956 where he got a chance to design Steinberg Hall, the art centre of the university’s Danforth Campus. In 1960, Maki went back to Japan to prepare ‘Metabolism’, a post-war Japanese architectural movement with his fellow architects Kiyonori Kikutake and Kisho Kurokawa. When he returned to the US, he worked for one of world’s largest architecture firms, Skidmore, Owings and Merill (SOM) and also Sert Jackson and Associates before he established his own firm, Maki and Associates.

His design is a blend of influences from his Japanese roots and modern elements. They can be seen in Asia, America and Europe, including Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium (1990), the 4 World Trade Center in New York City and Aga Khan Museum in Toronto (2014). During an interview with Indonesia Design, he told our contributor that one of his projects in Tokyo, Hillside Terrace underlines his personal architectural style. It is a 25-year project of a mixed-use complex which consists of apartments, shops, restaurants and cultural facilities. This project has earned him the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1993.

Throughout his 50-over laudable career years, the architect has also received Wolf Prize in Arts (1988), International Union of Architects Gold Medal (1993), Praemium Imperiale (1999) and American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (2011) that also make him one of the most respected architects from the 20th century. We were delighted to have him as one of the speakers at Indonesia Design’s 11th Anniversary Seminar on 5 December 2014.

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