Friday, 23 August, 2019

I M Pei, a pillar of modern architecture, dies at 102

IM Pei, Chinese-born Architectural Titan, Has Died Aged 102 I.M. Pei's designs are a big presence, locally and around the world
Lora Ball | 20 May, 2019, 12:02

I.M. Pei, a master of modernist and brutalist architecture who started his career designing buildings for NY developer William Zeckendorf, passed away yesterday, a spokesman for his firm confirmed to Commercial Observer.

The 70-story Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong is one of the most recognizable of Pei's buildings.

Pei was the designer behind the Lourve's controversial glass pyramids, built in the 1980s, which have gone on to become some of the most photographed landmarks in the world. Pei remembered "receiving many angry glances in the streets", the Japan Times reported.

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

You're probably seen it on Instagram if friends share photos from their European excursions: the Louvre pyramid in Paris. Pei was born in Guangzhou of China and moved to the United States in 1935.

"I.M. Pei's work across many contexts and cultures has an enduring, timeless quality", says Scott. He then enrolled in Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, where he received a master's degree in architecture in 1946. Inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2017, Pei was a modernist whose striking works included notable cultural institutions and civic buildings.

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One of the most famous architects of his time, Pei designed numerous famous buildings around the world before retiring in 1990. He became a naturalised U.S. citizen in 1954.

Located on the campus of Tungai University in Taichung, Taiwan, this Christian chapel was designed by I.M. Pei at the time his firm was known as I.M. Pei & Associates, in collaboration with Chen Chi-Kwan. Pei, who admitted he was just catching up with the Beatles, researched the roots of rock "n" roll and came up with an array of contrasting shapes for the museum.

He dedicated the US$100,000 prize money he was awarded as laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 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.

The 52-storey skycraper stands at nearly 200 metres tall, and now serves as the headquarters of OCBC Bank.

Pei had four children, two of whom became architects. Besides sons Chien Chung Pei and Li Chung Pei, he is survived by a daughter, Liane. He was married to Eileen Loo (蔣士雲) from 1942 until her death in 2014.

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