I. M. Pei Biography
I. M Pei was a Chinese American architect, born on 26 April 1917 in Kwangchou, Kwangtung, Republic of China. He founded an architecture firm known as Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Furthermore, in 1935, when he was only 17, Pei moved to the United States to enroll in the University of Pennsylvania’s architecture school.
Pei quickly transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His first major recognition came with the Mesa Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. This new stature led to his selection as the chief architect for the John F. Kennedy Library in Massachusetts.
Among many other prizes, I. M. Pei won awards in the field of architecture, including the AIA Gold Medal in 1979 and the first Premium Imperiale for Architecture in 1989. Besides, Pei won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in 2003 and In 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, also called the Nobel Prize of architecture.
On 20 June 2014, Pei’s wife of over seventy years, Eileen Loo, died. The two had three sons, T’ing Chung, Chien Chung, and Li Chung, and a daughter, Liane. The daughter is a lawyer while T’ing Chung, deceased, was an urban planner. Moreover, Chieng Chung and Li Chung, who are both Harvard Graduate School of Design alumni, founded and run Pei Partnership Architects. Later, Pei died in the New York City borough of Manhattan on 16 May 2019, at the age of 102.
Further, Pei has conducted many projects and designed a number of projects. They include the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston National Gallery of Art East Building Louvre Pyramid, Paris Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Indiana University Art Museum Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I. M. Pei Dead
Thomas Guss, Pei’s press contact at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, confirmed I.M. Pei’s death. In-person, he was dapper, good-humored, charming, and unusually modest. His working process was evolutionary, but innovation was never a conscious goal. “Stylistic originality is not my purpose,” he said. “I want to find the originality in the time, the place, and the problem.”
Li Chung Pei told The New York Times on Thursday that his father had died overnight. He died on 16 May 2019. The cause of his death has not yet been surfaced to the public, though we will update immediately after it is disclosed.
I. M Pei photo
Pei Net Worth
His primary income source is as an architect. However, Pei had a net worth of $150 million dollars at the time of his death in 2019.
I. M Pei has participated in the design and erection of a vast number of projects. They include:
»Museum of Islamic Art
Architect I. M Pei
»Luce Memorial Chapel
»Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art
»Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
»Bank of China Tower
»Fragrant Hill Hotel
»Everson Museum of Art
»Dallas City Hall
»Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
»Macau Science Center
»Four Seasons Hotel New York
»Carrousel du Louvre
Despite not speaking English, Pei chose higher education in the United States and took a boat from China to San Francisco in 1935. Later, after studying architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, he set up his own architectural practice in New York in 1955.
Furthermore, he established his name in 1964 after winning the commission to design the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum.
His East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington in 1978 altered people’s perceptions of a museum. It was one of the first crowd-pleasing cathedrals of modern art. “Some people say I’m obsessed with geometry,” Pei said in a 2009 documentary. “Maybe I am, but that’s what I believe: I think architecture is … geometry in solid forms.”
Additionally, I. M Pei was the first foreign architect to work on the Louvre in its long history, and initially, his designs were fiercely opposed. For instance, when his large glass pyramid opened at the entrance to the Louvre museum in 1988, it was not well received. But in the end, the French and everyone else was won over.
Soaring Bank of China Tower.
Crowds around the world flow through the buildings designed by Pei. In Paris, they stream into the Louvre’s Pyramid entrance. Again in Cleveland, they wander through the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And in Hong Kong, they travel up and down the soaring Bank of China Tower.
“I would say the first year and a half was really hell,” the architect said in a PBS documentary. “I couldn’t walk the streets of Paris without people walking looking at me and saying, There you go again. What are you doing here? What are you doing to us? Or what are you doing to our great Louvre?”
In 2009, NPR’s Susan Stamberg paid a visit to the Pyramid. Henri Loyrette, the Louvre’s director at the time, called it a masterpiece. He said that when you ask visitors why they are at the Louvre, they generally give three answers: for the Mona Lisa, for the Venus de Milo, and for the Pyramid.
I. M. Pei Louvre
I. M Pei designed The Louvre Pyramid, a large glass and metal pyramid. Three smaller pyramids surround it. It’s located in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace, in Paris. Furthermore, the large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. However, it was completed in 1989 and has become a landmark of the city of Paris.
François Mitterrand, the President of France, commissioned the structure in 1984. The structure, which was constructed entirely with glass segments and metal poles, reaches a height of 21.6 meters. Its square base has sides of 34 meters and a base surface area of 1,000 square meters. Also, it consists of 603 rhombus-shaped and 70 triangular glass segments. Nicolet Chartrand Knoll Ltd. of Montreal and Rice Francis Ritchie of Paris engineered the pyramid structure.
Grand Louvre by I. M. Pei
It attracted 4.5 million visitors a year but later proved inadequate by the time the Louvre’s attendance had doubled in 2014. Besides, between 2014 and 2017, the layout of the foyer area in the Cour Napoleon beneath the glass pyramid underwent a thorough redesign. Moreover, the renovation included better access to the pyramid and the Passage Richelieu.
I. M. Pei Quotes
The architect, I. M. Pei, has come up with a number of inspiring quotes. See the list below.
»Stop worrying about missed opportunities and start looking for new ones.
»Great artists need great clients.
»Life is architecture and architecture is the mirror of life.
»Success is a collection of problems solved.
»It is not an individual act, architecture. You have to consider your client. Only out of that can you produce great architecture. You cannot work in the abstract.
»I want to bring out the best in a community and contribute something of permanent value.
»You cannot defend your design without knowing what you’re designing for.
»Let’s do it right. This is for the ages.
Being the best.
»Be the best, not necessarily the original.
»Design is something you have to put your hand to.
»I didn’t want to think about a project that I couldn’t finish. That’s a kind of temptation. One has to realize one’s limitations. Why kid yourself?
»A lasting architecture has to have roots.
»Modern architecture needed to be part of an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, process.
»One thing I learn – I’ve been in practice now for half a century or more, and the most important ingredient for an architect to do a good building is to have a good client. I think a client counts for as much as fifty percent.
»Even a beautiful piece of work can be overshadowed, destroyed, by something else.
»I believe that architecture is a pragmatic art. To become art it must be built on a foundation of necessity.
»Many of the projects I’m most proud of are tall buildings, especially the housing projects. In New York, I have two: one in Kips Bay and one at New York University. At that time, those projects were the most challenging.
»I have taken any new projects in the past years. Thus I told myself, if I cannot live long enough to finish it, I don’t want it.
I. M. Pei & Associates
Eason H. Leonard, Henry N. Cobb, and the Louvre’s designer co-founded I. M. Pei $ Associates in 1955. Afterward, in 1966, the firm was renamed, I.M. Pei & Partners. Later it was renamed again to Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in 1989. Today it continues to design and build award-winning projects for major corporations, cultural and religious institutions, private developers, and public authorities around the world.
The firm’s committed to designing in order to enhance community and create quality public space. Projects range from Denver’s 16th Street Mall and Boston’s John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library to the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and the United States Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
I. M. Pei Philosophy
As a student of Le Corbusier and modernist architecture, Pei adapted the core belief of modernism. Hence, that form follows function and added his own interpretation. Even so, he believes that form follows intention. Although his work reflects this philosophy by his incorporation of functional symbols into all his great works.
Besides, I M. Pei rejects the Internationalist vision of architecture as future vs. past and instead sees his role as creating a bridge between the present and the past. Therefore, these core beliefs explain how he designs a wide variety of structures that are all consistent with his vision.