Born in Tokyo in 1928 Fumihiko Maki graduated from the the University of Tokyo in 1952, and a Master's degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. In 1954 he received a Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
He established his firm, Maki and Associates in 1965, and soon became a leading figure of contemporary architecture, designing projects in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. He is a recipient of the Pritzker Prize (1993) and the AIA Gold Medal in 2011.
In his entry Maki published in the Dictionnaire de l'architecture du XXe siècle, Xavier Guillot notes
Maki se distingue de ses contemporains japonais par so conception d'une architecture composée des volumes fragmentés et par l'attention quel porte aux relations entre le bâtiment et l'environnement, afin d'enrichir les espaces publiques exterior.
This is certainly evident in his design of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, among other projects.
Dictionnaire De l'Architecture Du XXe Siècle. Edited by Jean-Paul Midant. Hazan/Institut Francais d'Architecture, 1996.
"Maki And Associates". Accessed September 3, 2019. https://perma.cc/5ESW-5B79 http://www.maki-and-associates.co.jp/index.html.
The Aga Khan Museum, opened September 2014 in Toronto, Canada, is the first museum in North America dedicated to the arts and the cultures of the world of Islam. Founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, the Museum is dedicated to the acquisition, preservation and display of artifacts – from various periods and geographies – relating to the intellectual, cultural, artistic and religious heritage of communities in the world of Islam. Through art, performances, exhibitions,
research, education and collaboration with other leading international
institutions, the Aga Khan Museum promotes knowledge of the contributions of
Islamic civilizations to world heritage.
The Museum collection contains over one thousand artefacts and artworks and spans over one thousand years of history. The objects – in ceramic, metalwork, ivory, stone and wood, textile and carpet, glass and rock crystal objects, parchment and illustrated paintings on paper – present an overview of the artistic accomplishments of civilizations of Islam from the Iberian Peninsula to China.
Housed in a innovative new building, the Museum allows the public to experience the living traditions of these societies as well as their artistic and cultural practices. The Museum was designed by the renowned Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. The abstract notion of light and the light of human creativity and openness were sources of inspiration for the design of the Aga Khan Museum. Maki’s design is contained in a 10,000m² building within a simple rectilinear footprint 81 metres long by 54 metres wide. The four primary functions (exhibition spaces, an auditorium, classrooms and workshops, and library and media-centre) revolve around a central courtyard, which acts as the heart of the building and integrates the different functions into a cohesive whole while allowing each space to maintain its independence, privacy, and character.
The Museum shares the site with the Ismaili Centre, designed by Charles Correa, and is surrounded by a ten-hectare landscaped park, designed by Vladimir Djurovic. Together, they constitute important landmarks and green space for the city of Toronto.