Japanese Architect Fumihiko Maki Is Named 1993 Laureate of the Pritzker Archtecture Prize
Citing his work as "intelligent and artistic in concept and expression, meticulously achieved," The Hyatt Foundation jury has named Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki the sixteenth Laureate of his profession's highest honor, the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Maki, whose modernist architectural achievements in Japan have been raised throughout the world as highly successful fusions of the cultures of east and west, is the second Japanese architect to win the Pritzker Prize, and was a student of the first, Kenzo Tange, who received the honor in 1987.
Jay A. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, which established the award in 1979, will present Maki with a $100,000 grant and medal at a ceremony to be held at Prague Castle in the recently formed Czech Republic on June 10.
In making the announcement from The Hyatt Foundation's office in Los Angeles, Pritzker lauded the choice of the jury, saying, "Maki's roots are in Japan, but his studies and early work in the United States have given him an unique understanding of both eastern and western cultures evident in his designs. He never loses touch with human scale, whatever the size of the project."
Bill Lacy, secretary to the international panel of jurors that elects the Laureate each year, quoted from the formal citation from the jury: "He uses light in a masterful way making it as tangible a part of every design as are the walls and roof. In each building, he searches for a way to make transparency, translucency and opacity exist in total harmony. He uses detail to give his structures rhythm and scale."
The prize is presented to him, Lacy continued, "For building works that are not only expressions of his time, but that are destined to survive mere fashion."
Lacy elaborated, "A group of young Japanese architects, bound by the past and firmly committed to respect it, but determined to look to the future emerged in the late 1940s. Their architecture was both experimental and modernist with some European overtones that gradually gave way to a more original and uniquely Japanese style. Their work was featured in the international architectural press and soon they were the emulated, not the emulators, with their inventive and artistic new shapes and pioneering use of new materials. Fumihiko Maki was one of the leaders of this new wave that would rebuild Japan."
Maki who was born on September 6, 1928 took his undergraduate degree in architecture at the University of Tokyo before going on for Masters degrees at both Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
His first commission was in the United States at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri-Steinberg Hall, an arts center. It remains his only built work in the U.S. until the completion of the Yerba Buena Gardens Visual Arts Center currently under construction in San Francisco, scheduled to open this fall.