Remembering the life and career of I. M. Pei

I.M. Pei, renowned architect who left his mark on Denver, dies at 102

A vast, one-acre, six-storey-high sunken plaza, dubbed the "Great Space" sits between the two towers.

Mr Michael Ngu, chief executive of local architectural firm architects61, said he was "honoured" and "blessed" to have worked in Mr Pei's NY office in Madison Avenue in the 1980s.

Legendary architect, founder of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (originally I.M. Pei & Associates), and 1983 Pritzker Prize victor I.M. Pei reportedly passed away last night at age 102.

"Contemporary architects tend to impose modernity on something". "There is a certain concern for history but it's not very deep". The time had to be right [for change].

"A lasting architecture has to have roots". He also won the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, 1983, dedicating the $100,000 prize money he was awarded to setting up a scholarship fund for Chinese students to study the craft in the United States, on the condition they return home to design and build. Of his almost 50 designs in the United States and around the world, more than half won major awards.

Ieoh Ming Pei was born in 1917 in Guangzhou, China, before moving to the USA at the age of 18, where he studied at Pennsylvania, MIT and Harvard. He completed his architecture undergraduate degree in 1940 with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He became a naturalized USA citizen in 1954.

Opened to the public in 1989, the giant structure essentially provided a new entrance for the growing number of visitors.

People reflected in glass pyramids outside the National Gallery of Art in Washington June 6, 2012.

Pei said the Louvre was undoubtedly the most hard job of his career.

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Throughout his career Pei designed multiple landmark structures including the East Building of Washington D.C.,'s National Gallery of Art, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the glass pyramid at the entry to the Louvre in Paris. In Singapore, he designed Raffles City, The Gateway in Beach Road and the OCBC Centre in Chulia Street.

The museum in Qatar that opened in 2008 was inspired by Islamic architectural history, especially the 9th century mosque of Ahmed ibn Tulun in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

Pei spent months traveling the Muslim world seeking inspiration. "So I studied the life of Muhammad".

During the war, Pei worked for the National Defense Research Committee.

In the 1970s Pei and Partners collaborated with Australian practice Bates Smart and McCutcheon (BSM) to create Collins Place, a two-tower complex in Melbourne's CBD, which in 1975 was the largest single building in Australia.

In 1975, Pei was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Pei - who had four children with wife Eileen Loo, who died in 2014 after 72 years of marriage - also outlived some of his own designs.

Before seducing Paris, he utterly scandalized the city with his proposal for a glass pyramid at the Louvre, a then-radical proposal for a site seen by many as representing the soul of France.

USA president George Bush awarded Pei the Medal of Freedom that same year, when he was also elected an Honorary Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. The museum, designed by I.M. Pei, houses a collection of Islamic art from the 7th to the 19th century. "His versatility and skill in the use of materials approach the level of poetry". From his Manhattan office, Pei and his crew created a model, renderings and plans for a dramatic re-creation of downtown Oklahoma City.



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