HomeBad Ass AsiansIM Pei dies at 102

IM Pei dies at 102

by Benh Lieu Song via Wikimedia Creative Commons

The man considered one of the world’s greatest architects, if not the best, has died at the age of 102.

The New York Times reports, IM Pei died at his Manhattan home early this morning. His son Li Chung Pei, who is also an architect, confirmed his father’s death and said the family had recently celebrated his dad’s birthday with a family dinner.

Pei is best known for designing the pyramid entrance to the Louvre Museum in Paris and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

National Gallery of the Art, East Building
National Gallery of the Art, East Building

The Louvre Pyramid entrance was not a hit when it first opened.

“I would say the first year and a half was really hell,” the architect said in a PBS documentary, according to NPR. “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? What are you doing to our great Louvre?”

Pei put a great emphasis and light and space in his designs.

“There are many other elements that come into play to create a form,” said Pei. “Space, which is what architecture really is. You have to have light. … Light is terribly important.”

What are shapes without light? he asked — and added, “The light of the sun is magical.”

Pei was born in China, but moved to the United States in the 1930’s. He received his Masters Degree from Harvard.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

According to the NY Times, Pei wasn’t a big rock fan, but that didn’t stop him from creating a masterpiece at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. He gained his inspiration for the building by attending rock concerts.

Another Pei building is the Bank of China building in Hong Kong.

Bank of China Building, Hong Kong
Bank of China, Hong Kong

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