MMM – Architect I.M. Pei Dies at 102

I.M. Pei Dies at 102; photo courtesy of ArchDaily

Magnificent Metal Monday honors arguably the greatest member of the modernist generation of architects today. I.M. Pei died last week at the age of 102.

The Chinese-American architect was born on April 26, 1917 in Suzhou, China, grew up in Hong Kong and Shanghai and then moved to the United States to study architecture. When he received his Pritzker Prize in 1983, the jury citation stated that he “has given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms.” His most notable work is the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, France.

Architect I.M. Pei sits near the Louvre’s pyramid entrance on March 29, 1989. Photo courtesy of Fortune.

ArchDaily.com reports, “Though known as a modernist, and notable for his forms based upon arrangements of simple geometric shapes such as triangles, circles, and squares, Pei has rejected the implications of globalism inherent in the ‘International Style,’ instead advocating contextual development and variation in style. He has commented that ‘the important distinction is between a stylistic approach to the design; and an analytical approach giving the process of due consideration to time, place, and purpose.’ On a trip to China in 1974, he even urged Chinese architects to look more to their architectural tradition, rather than designing in a Western style.”

In addition to the Louvre, his most notable works include the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, the Miho Museum in Japan, and The Gateway in Singapore – a skyscraper complex known for its striking angles.

Click HERE for a complete list of I.M. Pei’s work.

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