I.M. Pei, architect who designed Cleveland’s Rock Hall, dies at 102

I.M. Pei, architect who designed Cleveland’s Rock Hall, dies at 102

The sharp lines and geometric, light-filled forms of Chinese-American architect IM Pei's designs have created some of the landmarks of the world.

Professor Lam Khee Poh, dean of the National University of Singapore's School of Design and Environment, said: "He integrated urban planning, design and architecture in all his works from the beginning". As in-house architect for Zeckendorf's Webb & Knapp Inc., Pei designed shopping centers, offices, and residential towers, such as Manhattan's Kips Bay Plaza. "It's his work over a generation of time and his logical and relentless pursuit of the highest degree of excellence".

I.M. Pei, the world-renowned modernist architect whose work includes the Louvre pyramid, died at his home in NY at the age of 102, his sons' architecture firm has confirmed. Pei has been credited with saving modernist architecture, which was thought of as cold and uninviting, with open, welcoming public spaces, per the Washington Post.

"This one, however, carries forward the local tradition to a scale of sophistication and grandeur comparable in its effect to the familiar shopping galleries of Italy with their high-class canopies or even to London's former Crystal Palace".

He established his own architectural firm in 1955, a year after he became a USA citizen. Pei, the globe-trotting architect who revived the Louvre museum in Paris with a giant glass pyramid and captured the spirit of rebellion at the multi-shaped Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has died at age 102, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Pei dedicated energetic efforts to supporting the arts and education, serving on visiting committees at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Harvard and MIT as well as a range of U.S. government panels including the National Council on the Humanities and National Council on the Arts.

Pei's other notable designs include Japan's Miho Museum, Hong Kong's Bank of China tower, Dallas City Hall, and Qatar's Museum of Islamic Art - a design he worked on when he was in his 80s.

At the time, Jacqueline Kennedy said all the candidates were excellent, "But Pei!"

Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on Reuters and New York Times news reports.

Bank of China skyscraper in Hong Kong, China.

Pei seldom explained the ideas behind his architectural designs, and yet he always insisted with his designs.

Pei was also responsible for designing the accompanying "pyramid ininversée" (inverted pyramid)-an inverse of the original pyramid that is located in the Carrousel du Louvre in front of the Louvre Museum.

The building was erected the same year that Pei officially retired, though he continued to work on projects.

"All through the centuries, the Louvre has undergone violent change", Pei said. "I want to find the originality in the time, the place, and the problem". He founded his own firm in 1955.

Pei was preceded in death by his wife Eileen of 70 years. A son, T'ing Chung, died in 2003. Besides sons Chien Chung Pei and Li Chung Pei, he is survived by a daughter, Liane.

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