I.M. Pei and His ArcHitecture
Ieoh Ming Pei, better known as I.M. Pei, is one of the foremost architects of our time. In Chinese, Ieoh Ming means “to shine brightly,” which aptly describes Pei’s career. In the past 50 years, Pei has designed more than 50 major buildings around the world, ranging from industrial skyscrapers to major museums. He has won countless awards. The Bank of China, the Louvre Pyramid, and the Javitts Center in New York City are among his most well-known designs. To this day, Pei still participates in design work with both Pei Cobb Freed and Partners and Pei Partnership Architects — the firm started by his 2 sons.
Pei was born in Canton, China, in 1917, and moved to the United States in 1935 to study engineering and architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard School of Design. Pei studied under famous Bauhaus designers Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Though not a “functionalist,” Pei does acknowledge Breuer’s influence on his strong interest in “light, texture, and shadow” — all very apparent in the NCAR design.
A sampling of Pei's work from left to right: the Louvre Pyramid, Paris; the Bank of China, Hong Kong; and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado