Ieoh Ming Pei (born April 26, 1917), aka I. M. Pei, is a prominent Chinese American architect. He was born in Guangzhou (Canton) and raised in Hong Kong and Shanghai. In 1935, he moved to the US and enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s architecture school, but quickly transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was inspired by Le Corbusier and after graduating, he joined the Harvard Graduate School of Design and became friends with the Bauhaus architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer.
- Some of Pei’s work includes, the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C. and the Green Building at MIT. His first major recognition came with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado; which led to his selection as chief architect for the John F. Kennedy Library, in Massachusetts. He went on to design Dallas City Hall and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. He returned to China for the first time in 1974 to design a hotel at Fragrant Hills, and designed a skyscraper in Hong Kong for the Bank of China, 15 years later.
- Pei struck controversy when in the 1980s, he designed a glass-and-steel pyramid for the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Since then he has gone on to design the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, the Miho Museum in Japan, the Suzhou Museum in Suzhou, and the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.
- According to Wikipedia, Pei has won a wide variety of prizes and awards in the field of architecture, including the AIA Gold Medal in 1979, the first Praemium Imperiale for Architecture in 1989, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in 2003. In 1983, he won the Pritzker Prize, sometimes called the Nobel Prize of architecture.His most famous piece, for the Louvre courtyard was opened to the public on October 14, 1988, and the Pyramid entrance was opened the following March. By this time, public opinion had softened on the new installation. A poll found that 56% approved of it; with 23% still opposed to it.
“Is It Art?”