I.M. Pei

Nov 14, 2017
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In Washington D.C., a bold structure in the shape of two connecting triangles makes a dramatic addition to the National Gallery of Art. In Boston, the green-glassed John Hancock Tower soars above the skyline. In Paris, a 70-foot-high glass pyramid serves as the controversial new entrance to the Louvre museum. These notable buildings were all designed by I.M. Pei, one of America’s leading architects.

Born in China, Ieoh Ming Pei moved to the United States in 1935. He studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Then he taught at Harvard University and worked for an architectural firm in New York. Pei became an American citizen in 1954 and, a year later, opened his own firm.

Pei’s first greatest success was the Mile High Center in Denver, Colorado. Since then his designs, marked by elegant simplicity, geometric patterns, and richly contrasting materials, have won him worldwide fame.

Critic Robert Hughes wrote that Pei’s design for the East Building of the National Gallery of Art “takes its place among the great museum buildings of the past hundred years.” In 1983, he was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize for having “given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms.”

In 1978, Pei returned to china to design a hotel in Beijing.

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