I.M. Pei, (1917-2019)
I.M. Pei was a Chinese-born American architect noted for his large, elegantly designed urban buildings and complexes.
Pei went America in 1935 to study at , enrolling initially at the University of Pennsylvania and MIT. Unable to return to China because of the war, in 1948 Pei joined the firm of Webb & Knapp, New York City, as director of the architectural division. Working closely with the real estate developer William Zeckendorf, head of the firm, Pei created such urban projects as the Mile High Center (1955) in Denver, Colorado, the Hyde Park Redevelopment (1959) in Chicago, and the Place Ville-Marie (1965) in Montreal. He Pei formed his own architectural firm, I.M. Pei & Associates (later Pei Cobb Freed & Partners), in 1955.
Among the notable early designs of the firm were pyramid at the Louvre (1989) and the terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City. In 1964 he was also chosen to design the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library at Harvard University. Pei’s innovative East Building (1978) of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., is an elegant triangular design that was hailed as one of his finest achievements The Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center shown here was completed in 1989 for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Pei’s designs represent an extension of and elaboration on the rectangular forms and irregular silhouettes of the International Style but distinguished by his bold and skillful arrangements of groups of geometric shapes and for his dramatic use of richly contrasted materials, spaces, and surfaces.
© Alan John Ainsworth Photography