I. M. Pei

I. M. Pei

Ieoh Ming Pei is a Chinese American architect born on April 26, 1917 in Suzhou, China. Son of a bank director, Pei moved to the United States at the age of 17 to pursue his passion for architecture. At first he got admission at the University of Pennsylvania but its emphasis on fine draftsmanship could not go in accordance with Pei’s interest with structural engineering so he got enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received his degree in Bachelor of Architecture in 1940. In 1942 Pei started attending the Harvard Graduate School of Design and completed his M.Arch in 1946. Along with that he started serving as an assistant professor in the same campus and stayed there from 1945 to 1948.

Right after that at the age of thirty one, Pei was hired by a huge New York City contracting firm Webb and Knapp to direct the architectural division. This phase played a great role in giving his career a refined form as he himself said that he learned to consider the big picture after working at Webb and Knapp. He learned working with community, business, and government agencies and got several opportunities to work on some large scale projects.

In 1955 Pei founded his own firm with the name I. M. Pei & Associates which turned into I. M. Pei & Partners in 1966, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in 1989. Following are the exuberant works done by Ieoh Ming Pei both individually and in collaboration with other noted architects:

  • 131 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, 1949
  • Washington, D.C.,L’Enfant Plaza
  • Luce Memorial Chapel at Tunghai University, Taiwan
  • The Mesa Laboratory for the National Center for Atmospheric Research outside Boulder, Colorado
  • The dormitories at New College of Florida in the mid-1960s
  • The John F. Kennedy library
  • Dallas City Hall
  • The Hancock Tower
  • Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
  • National Gallery East Building, Washington, DC
  • The hotel at Fragrant Hills in China
  • The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
  • The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas
  • The Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • The Miho Museum
  • The Macao Science Center in Macau

Pei has secured the position of one of the most desired architects with a struggle of 60 years. He never confined himself to a certain type of architecture but he bags buildings catering all sorts of functions and programs on his credit including commercial, government and cultural projects. Pei has a modernist approach and is quite famous for blending traditional architectural elements with significant designs based on cubic themed simple geometric patterns. Pei’s works are celebrated throughout the world and he is still working with unending zeal despite being in his nineties. Some of his ongoing projects are:

  • Mumbai’s Lodha Place
  • Los Angeles’s Century Plaza
  • Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus in New York
  • The Charles Darwin Centre in Darwin, Australia

I. M. Pei Buildings