1992 – Hillside Terrace – Fumihiko Maki

The Hillside Terrace Complex is a collective form that has developed over seven phases since 1969, corresponding to the continuously changing circumstances of Tokyo. A variety of design strategies are used to create its unique atmosphere, including deference to subtle topographical changes, spatial layering, and the creation of protected exterior public space. The success of this project is a result of spatial and architectural means – scale, transparency – as well the programmatic development of public life. A variety of formal and informal events held in this part of the city create life in and around Hillside Terrace, combining with the architecture to make it a unique part of the Tokyo cityscape.

Name: Hillside Terrace │Type: Residential / Commercial / Office│Architect: Fumihiko Maki│Completed: 1992


1985 – Spiral Building – Fumihiko Maki

Spiral is a building by architect Fumihiko Maki in Aoyama. It was commissioned by lingerie company Wacoal and was completed in 1985. It is a multi-use building, with gallery space, multipurpose hall, cafe, restaurant and bar, salon, and shops. The defining feature of the building is a seemingly floating spiral ramp (15m in diameter) that encircles the rear gallery space and climbs to the second floor. The exterior facade of aluminum and glass reflects the jumbled nature of the surrounding streetscape. Also known as the Wacoal Art Center, Spiral is a nexus of cultural life in Aoyama, presenting music, art, film, and theater events.

Fumihiko Maki defined the concept of Spiral Building as follows: “In this building I wanted to represent the chaos of the city and for that purpose I took the typical elements of modern architecture, such as cube, cone and the hemisphere and combined them in an integral way.” At first glance the building looks inspired by the architecture of Richard Meier: the color white, the use of overlapping patterns and geometric shapes, the aluminum finish panels among others and even the use of an undulating volume in the facade. Yet here the rigorous geometric and rationality of the American architect is not perceived. There is also a reference to Peter Eisenman, the deconstruction and re-composition of the design elements. But inside the building, the spatial complexity that other deconstructive works convey is also not perceived, but rather an orderly succession of spaces.

Name: Spiral Building │Type: Entertainment│Architect: Fumihiko Maki│Completed: 1985


1979 – Royal Danish Embassy – Fumihiko Maki

dsc_3166Located next to the Hillside Terrace, the Danish Embassy is designed by the same architect, Fumihiko Maki. Although the salmon pink tiles immediately distinguish the embassy from the adjacent developement, the treatement is quite similar. The chancery facade acknowledges the curve of the street it faces. The translucent windows give privacy to the office spaces, while shoji-like screens provide privacy to the upperlevel office units.

Name: Royal Danish Embassy│Type: Office│Architect: Fumihiko Maki │Completed: 1979