Wolf Prize Laureate in Architecture 1988
The Prize Committee in Arts has unanimously decided that the prize will be equally shared by Giancarlo De Carlo and Fumihiko Maki.
University of Tokyo
“for their work which represents the spirit of an architecture that looks to the future without renouncing the past; brings about meaningful shapes and environments without forsaking human and social aspects and responds to universal issues without neglecting regional attributes.”
With unstable values and dubious notions prevailing in their field, Fumihiko Maki and Giancarlo De Carlo, each in his own way and in different corners of the world, have succeeded in reaching invaluable achievements, which successfully augment the scale of the modern movement in architecture thus constituting its legitimate extension – most reasonable sequel.
Within the spectacular panorama of contemporary architecture in Japan, Fumihiko Maki is the steadiest major figure. Excellence is the hallmark of his searching mind and modest personality. Maki’s buildings are ingenious, precise, sensitive and exquisitely made. They are welcomingly proportioned (very large ones remaining gracefully humane) but also lively, cheerful and pleasantly experimental exciting in a quiet sophisticated sort of way. Since Maki is a master of imaginative logic, there is still room for wonder within what is essentially reasonable. Above all, his work is wide open to the future and never either nostalgically close to the past or crudely separated from it; nor is it ever ponderous or even remotely rhetorical.
Maki knows the world – and within it his own country. He is, in fact, equally attuned to both, which is one clue to his remarkably balanced achievements. In the field of urbanism and mass housing, Maki’s thesis on Group Form left an early mark. As a teacher he is cherished in both Japan and the U.S.