said one of the last great modernist architects I.M. Pei. His 102 years of an architcetural creativity will be remembered with his masterpieces that he has left to us. He learned from great modernists: Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier.
A dapper, good-humored, charming and modest Pei said “I think architecture can reach a level where it influences people to want to do something more with their lives. That is the challenge that I find most interesting.”
I. M. Pei presents a renewal planning project of a downtown Oklahoma City in front of a huge scale model in 1964. | Photo by Oklahoman Archives
Winning the commission to design the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in 1964 established him as a name. Awarded just a year after Kennedy’s assassination, this was the most resonant of commissions. Jackie Kennedy made an emotional, personal choice in picking him for the over the likes of Louis Kahn and Mies van der Rohe.
In 1973 he created the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art with stunning views of Cayuga Lake, the campus, and Ithaca. | Photo via Cornell University
The Louvre pyramid is the main entrance to the Louvre Museum and has become a landmark of the city of Paris. | Photo by Steven Powell
Winning the fifth Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1983, he was cited as giving the 20th century “some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms. His versatility and skill in the use of materials approach the level of poetry.”
“Making the public space with a pyramid is a great challenge and main point of the Louvre project” said I. M. Pei. | Photo by Marc Riboud