Maki and Associates was established in 1965 by Fumihiko Maki, upon his return from a 10-year period of study, teaching, and practice in the United States. The office has been based in Tokyo throughout its 47-year history, and is currently staffed by forty-five architects, urban designers, and administrative personnel. This size has been purposefully limited to enable Maki to maintain a close working relationship with each firm member, and daily involvement with each project. Maki personally takes a leadership role in all commissions from design inception through to completion, and is committed to be available for direct client consultation - not simply responsive, but pro-active in addressing client needs.
As a mid-sized office, decision-making and communication at Maki and Associates retain the directness of smaller organizations. Each member of the office is involved in and responsible for all aspects of projects, from budget and programming, through design drawing and detailing, to construction supervision. This unique structure has allowed the office to tackle larger scale, complex projects without sacrificing the attention to quality and detail that has been the basis of the firm’s work throughout its long history.
Responsiveness to clients has been a key factor in Maki’s establishment of long-standing relationships with important institutions and corporations. In the private sector, foremost among these are the Asakura Real Estate Co. at Hillside Terrace in Daikanyama (35-year relationship); Keio University, at the Mita, Hiyoshi, and Fujisawa Campuses (30-year relationship); YKK Corporation, at the Kurobe Guesthouse and R&D Center (20-year relationship); Nagoya University, at Toyoda Auditorium and International Center (50-year relationship); Washington University in St. Louis, at Steinberg Hall and the Sam Fox Arts Center (50-year relationship); His Highness the Aga Khan, at the Ottawa Center and the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (10-year relationship), Singapore Polytechnic, at the Woodlands Campus (10-year relationship) and Novartis Pharmaceuticals, at office developments in Basel and the US (10-year relationship). Similar long-term relationships have been developed with the Japanese public sector with the local governments of Chiba Prefecture, Toyama Prefecture, and Nakatsu City in Kyushu.
Since the early '70s Maki and Associates has worked with numerous foreign clients and client groups both in Japan and abroad. Examples in Tokyo include an apartment building for Swire House (1970), St. Mary's International School (1972), Austrian and Danish Embassies (1976, 1979 respectively), Novartis Pharma Tsukuba Research Center (1993), and Tokyo Church of Christ (1995). Major projects abroad include Steinberg Hall at Washington University in St. Louis, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Isar Büro Park Office Complex in Munich, Germany, Sam Fox Arts Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Republic Polytechnic in Singapore (2007), the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa, Canada (2008), Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania (2009), Media Arts and Sciences Building at MIT (2010), and Novartis Square 3, Basel (2009). Currently, the firm's overseas work includes Tower 4 of the World Trade Center Redevelopment, New York (2013), MediaCorp, Singapore (2015), Bihar Museum, India (2015), Shenzen Sea World Cultural Arts Center, China (2015), United Nations Consolidation Building, New York (2016), and Block 20-02 Office Tower, Beirut (2017).
The work of Maki and Associates has been widely published and recognized with a number of domestic and international awards. Among these are the R.S. Reynolds Memorial Award for innovations in the use of aluminum (Spiral Building), the Prince of Wales Prize in Urban Design from Harvard University (Hillside Terrace), the Quaternario Award for technological innovation (Makuhari Messe), AIA Design Award (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Annenberg Public Policy Center), President’s Design Award (Republic Polytechnic, Singapore), the Public Buildings Association Award and the JIA 25-Year Award. Maki and Associates has also been honored with the BCS award 15 times, starting in 1983 for the Dentsu Osaka Headquarters building, and continuing through 2010 for the Mihara Performing Arts Center. The BCS Award, which recognizes a combination of high construction quality, good design, and client satisfaction, is considered one of the most prestigious awards for a Japanese architect.