The Golgi Structure by Fumihiko Maki, 1968

Maki’s Golgi Structures designed in 1968 by Fumihiko Maki was named after Nobel Prize-winner Camillo Golgi, who developed techniques for visualising nerve cell bodies. The structure proposed by Maki alternate dense urban areas with unstructured open spaces. Encasing the latter are light-absorbing cells that facilitate communicationenergy distribution and mechanical systems.

The Golgi Structure technical information

I understand that, today, some developers are asking architects to design eye-catching, iconic buildings. Fortunately, I’ve not had that kind of client so far.

– Fumihiko Maki

The Golgi Structure Photographs

The Golgi Structure by Fumihiko Maki, 1968 The Golgi Structure by Fumihiko Maki, 1968 The Golgi Structure by Fumihiko Maki, 1968 The Golgi Structure by Fumihiko Maki, 1968

Investigations on Collective Form

Fumihiko Maki in Investigations on Collective Form not only conceptualized the urban form of megastructure but quickly turned to criticized this planning method for its rigidity and monumentality. He opposed it with the concept of group formInstead of a static structure, Maki called for a more subtle internal order that underlathe natural evolution of cities.

He distinguished 3 types of ‘collective form’:

  • Compositional form (Compositional): fixed relation between preformed buildings. It is based on rules of composition and encompassing the cases of planned cities such as Chandigarh or Brasilia.
  • Megastructural form (structural): large framework which encompasses all the functions of a complex organism or an urban nucleus. It is present in Metabolist projects such as the Agricultural City by Kurowaka or the Tokyo Bay development by Tange Lab
  • Group form (sequential): additive collection of similar units. The stepped villages of the Greek islands or the Dogon villages where time is the key player

In the Golgi Structure, Maki includes communication properties of nerve cells in his architecture. The open spaces provide mobility and freedom for the inhabitants, making them user-friendly and focused on social interaction.

This “High Density Conceptual Urban Structure” correspond to a network of circular buildings fanning out variously in closed-off or half-open shapes, accommodating a large number of inhabitants.

The Golgi Structure Plans
The Golgi Structure by Fumihiko Maki, 1968

Cite this article: "The Golgi Structure by Fumihiko Maki, 1968" in ArchEyes, May 11, 2016,