I.M. Pei, architect who designed Cleveland’s Rock Hall, dies at 102

I.M. Pei, architect who designed Cleveland’s Rock Hall, dies at 102

FILE - General view of the Louvre Museum in Paris, with the glass Pyramid entrance designed by Chinese-born US architect I.M. Pei, Aug. 6, 2007.

According to The New York Times, the Chinese-born American passed away overnight.

I.M. Pei, one of the best-known architects of the 20th century, has died. His childhood and adolescent years were mostly spent in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

He then enrolled in Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, where he received a master's degree in architecture in 1946.

He created a futuristic 21m-tall (70-foot tall) steel-framed, glass-walled pyramid as a grand entrance for the museum with three smaller pyramids nearby.

A French newspaper described Pei's pyramids as "an annex to Disneyland" while an environmental group said they belonged in a desert.

Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, Germany. It was a striking contrast to the existing Louvre structures in classic French style and was reviled by many French.

In the 1981, Pei's design of the Louvre's pyramid courtyard opened to the public.

Although Pei reached icon status in his field, both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Museum of Islamic Art were challenges for him, since Pei reportedly didn't love the rock music, and was previously unfamiliar with Islamic art. "At that time, there was no difference between an architect, a construction man, or an engineer".

Once, the architect was asked about the reason that made his architectural works so universally successful.

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"Maybe because I am more patient", Pei said, "because of me being Chinese". And in Hong Kong, they travel up and down the soaring Bank of China Tower. "What are you doing to our great Louvre?" He came to the U.S.as a teenager in 1935, went to MIT and was influenced by the work of pioneering modernists Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Ieoh Ming Pei was born April 26, 1917, in Canton, China, the son of a banker.

Pei's family was an ancient and distinguished clan in ancient Suzhou City, and the Lion Grove Garden, a representative site of the renowned Suzhou gardens, once belonged to the Pei family.

Clearly, Pei has put painstaking efforts into the Suzhou Museum, and he called it "my little girl". "But I don't want to forget the beginning", he said. "There is a certain concern for history but it is not very deep", Pei told The New York Times in 2008.

Other notable Pei projects include the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester, Mass., the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Dallas City Hall. He was also fêted with the American Institute of Architects' Gold Medal and the Royal Institute of British Architects' Royal Gold Medal, among other accolades.

The sand-toned stacked-box design of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar was inspired by a six-month tour of the world's mosques.

In the 102 years of his life, he has witnessed and experienced the change of times.

"He was somehow able to, nearly magically, blend the cutting edge with things that people were interested in and wanted and liked and responded to - so, he made modern architecture something that people loved".

"This one, however, carries forward the local tradition to a scale of sophistication and grandeur comparable in its effect to the familiar shopping galleries of Italy with their high-class canopies or even to London's former Crystal Palace".

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