"Architecture teaches you to see, and therefore you learn to see things - and they are not all in one place. And sometimes they are in places far away from home. And you have to travel; and travelling and seeing is more important to your education than reading books. You have to teach yourself by seeing; and life becomes richer and the world is yours in a way."
I. M. Pei
1917- Architect born in Canton, China
He emigrated to America in 1935 and studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and with Walter Gropius
at Harvard. He was director of architecture with the contracting firm Webb and Knapp from 1948 to 55 before establishing his own New York firm, later to become Pei, Cobb Freed and Partners.
From the outset Pei was associated with large-scale multipurpose developments, often connected with urban revitalization. He tends to use a lot of glass, steel and concrete which causes people to classify him as a follower of Gropius, a proponent of the International Style
. But Pei does not subscribe to any specific theory, working entirely in his own way.
His designs include some of the principal commercial, cultural, and educational buildings
of the late 20th century, including:
In recent years he undertook major buildings in China and Hong Kong.
Pei's buildings are characterized by their carefully, often dramatically arranged masses, use of exterior landscape in interior design through thoughtful siting, and technological innovation (he pioneered, for example, all-glass curtain walls).
Last Updated 04.09.04