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 Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat located on Sussex Drive in Ottawa, Canada, is a formal and symbolic representational building for the Aga Khan and the non-denominational, philanthropic and developmental agencies, which constitute the Aga Khan Development Network.
The building rests on a podium of black granite. The Neoparies cladding, made of crystalized glass, has a softly translucent surface. A dramatic rock crystal inspired dome vaults over the interior courtyard. The dome is composed of multi-faceted angular planes. Within the dome is a layer of glass-fibre fabric that appears to float over the atrium. A floor of Canadian maple gives warmth, made up of a pattern of 49 squares, a reference to His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
The space is filled with light and the play of shadows from the glazed roof. Surrounding the atrium is a patterned screen of cast aluminum. It evokes the screens of carved marble and wood that filter light and view in historic Islamic architecture.
The Delegation was awarded the 2012 Governor General's Medal in Architecture. The jury for the Governor General's Medal cited: "This is a significant addition to Ottawa’s repertoire of diplomatic buildings and puts Canadian architecture firmly on the world stage. Impressively monumental in scale, the project combines a powerful civic presence with a remarkable level of sophistication. Its integration of traditional Islamic motifs such as specially crafted screens and a lush courtyard garden is choreographed with assurance and sensitivity, bringing the building wonderfully to life as a delicate and sensual piece of architecture, while the quality of materials and detailing is outstanding."