Fumihiko Maki, Designer of Hillside Terrace in Tokyo, Dies at 95; Pritzker Prize-winning Architect also Taught at University of Tokyo

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Fumihiko Maki

Fumihiko Maki, a world-renowned architect who designed the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba and the Hillside Terrace complex in Daikanyama, Tokyo, died of natural causes on June 6. He was 95.

A funeral was held with his close relatives. A farewell ceremony is planned for a later date.

Born in Tokyo, Maki graduated from the department of architecture at the University of Tokyo and completed graduate studies at Harvard University before returning to his original alma mater to work as a professor. He helped create sophisticated buildings that added Japanese spatial elements to modernist architecture.

Maki worked on the design of Hillside Terrace for about 30 years, starting in the late 1960s. What he created was a complex of buildings that combined housing complexes and stores on a long, narrow site facing the street. Along with the low-height cityscape, the positioning of galleries and meeting halls at the core of the complex helped to spread urban culture, making the name “Daikanyama” famous.

Maki received the Imperial Prize and the Japan Art Academy Prize in fiscal 2012 for the design of the Toyoda Auditorium at Nagoya University, the masterpiece of his early years, and its later renovation. Other works include the Spiral arts complex in Tokyo and the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. He designed Tower 4, a building which was constructed as part of the redevelopment of New York’s World Trade Center site after its destruction in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Maki criticized the original design proposal for the National Stadium, announced in 2012, as “too huge,” triggering the growth of a movement opposed to it.

He had received numerous awards, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in the United States; he was also named a Person of Cultural Merit in Japan. He was a member of the Japan Art Academy. He was the author of the book “Tadayou modanizumu” (“Drifting Modernism”).