Louvre pyramid architect I.M. Pei dead at 102: New York Times

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Louvre pyramid architect I.M. Pei dead at 102: New York Times

One of the 20th century's best-known architects, I.M.

Pei, has died according to the New York Times.

Pei was born in China but made his mark around the world with his distinctive modern aesthetic.

His toughest project has turned out to be his most famous: the pyramid entrance to the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Eve Johnson reports.


Louvre pyramid architect I.M. Pei dead at 102: New York Times

The architect behind the iconic Louvre pyramid - I.M.

Pei - has died at the age of 102.

That's according to a report in the New York Times Thursday (May 16).

Ieoh Ming Pei was one of the 20th century's best-known and most prolific architects, designing museums, municipal buildings, hotels and schools around the world.

Born in China, he moved to the U.S. at 18 years old, studying architecture at MIT and Harvard before starting his own firm in 1955.

Pei liked to work with stone, glass and steel with a focus on precision geometry and a reverence for light.

His Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong is considered one of the city's most iconic skyscrapers.

When the 72-story building was finished in 1989 it was the tallest in Asia.

He tackled his toughest project in the early 90s: a renovation of the Louvre museum in Paris.

He created a 70-foot-tall glass pyramid as a grand entrance for the museum with three smaller pyramids nearby.

But he took a lot of heat from the outset.

First of all, because he wasn't French.

Critics also blasted his design, saying it clashed with the historic buildings behind it.

A French newspaper called it "an annex to Disneyland" while an environmental group said the pyramids belonged in a desert.

But the Louvre wasn't Pei's last pyramid.

It popped up again a couple years later here at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Pei continued designing into his 80s including a project considered one of his masterpieces: the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.

He won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1983 and used the $100,000 award to start a program for aspiring Chinese architects to study in the United States.

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