Celebrating I.M. Pei – Turning 100

ID Collaborative blog post

Like most great architects who are generally inclined to longevity, I.M. Pei turned 100 this past April.

Pei’s first major recognition came with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado (completed in 1967). His new stature led to his selection as chief architect for the John F. Kennedy Library in Massachusetts. He went on to design Dallas City Hall and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. He returned to China for the first time in 1975 to design a hotel at Fragrant Hills, and designed Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong, a skyscraper in Hong Kong for the Bank of China fifteen years later.

In the early 1980s, Pei was the focus of controversy when he designed a glass-and-steel pyramid for the Musée du Louvre in Paris. He later returned to the world of the arts by designing the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, the Miho Museum in Japan, the Suzhou Museum in Suzhou, and the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.

Pei has won a wide variety of prizes and awards in the field of architecture, including the AIA Gold Medal in 1979, the first Praemium Imperiale for Architecture in 1989, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in 2003. In 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, sometimes called the Nobel Prize of architecture.

A few years ago Pei stepped away from actively designing himself, but he likes to talk architecture as much as ever. He has also taken on work as an architectural consultant primarily from his sons’ architectural firm Pei Partnership Architects. Today, Pei still lives comfortably in his Manhattan townhouse.

The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in Cincinnati, OH

New entrance pyramid for the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, MA

A working sketch of the National Gallery of Art – East Wing

Interior shot of the National Gallery of Art – East Wing in Washington, DC

The Suzhou Museum in Jiangsu Sheng, China
This museum designed by I. M. Pei housing Chinese artifacts, including calligraphy & ancient craftwares.

Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong

“Life is architecture and architecture is the mirror of life” – I. M. Pei