We model the robustness against random failure or an intentional attack of networks with an arbitrary large-scale structure. We construct a block-based model which incorporates—in a general fashion—both connectivity and interdependence links, as well as arbitrary degree distributions and block correlations. By optimizing the percolation properties of this general class of networks, we identify a simple core-periphery structure as the topology most robust against random failure. In such networks, a distinct and small “core” of nodes with higher degree is responsible for most of the connectivity, functioning as a central “backbone” of the system. This centralized topology remains the optimal structure when other constraints are imposed, such as a given fraction of interdependence links and fixed degree distributions. This distinguishes simple centralized topologies as the most likely to emerge, when robustness against failure is the dominant evolutionary force.