Fumihiko Maki was named AIA’s 2011 Gold Medal winner last Thursday, making him the 67th in that illustrious line. Maki began his career in the 1960s as a part of the group of Japanese architects known as the Metabolists who championed large biomorphic structures that could expand and change as needed. His more recent designs, such as the new Media Lab at MIT, present a decidedly fixed composition, though MIT retains the suggestion of interchangeable volumes. The concept did find its way into Maki’s thoroughly adaptable interior, as was noted during a walk-through by AN last spring.
The Harvard educated architect spends much of his time in Tokyo where his firm, Maki and Associates, has been based for the past 45 years. Here in New York, his trapezoidal design for the 64-story Four World Trade Center will add an additional 1.8 million square feet of office space to the site, a third of which is expected to become the new Port Authority headquarters.
Maki is already the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pritzker, The Chicago Architecture Award, The Prince of Wales Prize and the UIA Gold, to name but a few. He will receive the honor next May at the 2011 AIA National Convention in New Orleans.