Legendary Chinese Architect Who Designed the Louvre Pyramid Dies at 102

LUXEMBOURG – JULY 01: Chinese Architect Ieoh Ming Pei waves as he arrives to attend the inauguration of the Grand Duke Jean Modern Art Museum on July 1, 2006 in Luxembourg, as part of the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg’s silver wedding aniversary celebrations. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

I.M. Pei, one of the most accomplished architects of our time responsible for designing some of the most iconic buildings around the world, has passed away overnight in Manhattan at the age of 102, according to his son Li Chung Pei.

Pei, born Ieoh Ming Pei in China, moved to the U.S. in 1935 to study architecture at MIT and Harvard University, opening his own firm by 1955.

He is most famous for being the controversial architect chosen in secret by French president Francois Mitterand to design the iconic glass pyramids of the Louvre Museum in Paris, the first phase of which was completed in 1989. It was a topic of much criticism back then for the fact that Pei is not French, and the modern design posed a stark contrast to the surrounding palace, parts of which date back to the 12th century.

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Pei’s other notable projects include the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester Massachusetts, the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Dallas City Hall, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and dozens of other buildings and museums around the world.

NEW YORK – APRIL 21: Architect I.M. Pei (L) gestures towards the stage as he sits with family members before being honored with an Ellis Island Family Heritage Award at the Ellis Island Museum on April 21, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Pei had four children, two of whom became architects.

Read more at The New York Times

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