Makovecz was born and died in Budapest. He was founder and "eternal and executive president" of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.
Makovecz was one of the most prominent proponents of organic architecture. As such, his buildings attempt to work with the natural surroundings rather than triumph over them.
His work began as a critique of communist ideology and the brutal uniformity of system building but, after the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, it became a comment on the nature of globalisation and corporate culture. In its attempts to refer to and build on Hungarian national archetypes Makovecz was continuing the work and ideas of the architects of Hungarian Art Nouveau and National Romanticism.