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.