05/17/2019, 09.36
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I.M. Pei, architect of the Louvre pyramid and the Bank of China Tower, has died

by Paul Wang

The Architect of Chinese origin died at 102 years of age. A pupil of Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, he imposed an idea of ​​modernity made of pure geometric shapes, flat surfaces, natural light. He leaves works in France, the United States, Hong Kong, but also in Qatar, Luxembourg and China.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Ieoh Ming Pei, one of the most famous architects worldwide, died yesterday at the age of 102. Among his most famous (and even controversial) works are the glass pyramid in front of the Louvre in Paris (photo 1) and the angular Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong (photo 2).

When the modern pyramid opened in front of the old building of the Parisian museum, many Frenchmen branded the building as "an annex of Disneyland". In much the same way, when the tower of the Bank of China was inaugurated, seven years before the passage of the territory to China, many people in Hong Kong criticized the structure - which did not "respect the feng shui" of the island - and the two antennas, ironically defined "the two sticks" [chop sticks], which placed vertically are bearers of misfortune.

In reality, in his work, Pei has imposed an idea of ​​modernity made of pure geometric shapes, flat surfaces, natural light.

Born on 26 April 1917 in Guangzhou, in a family originally from Suzhou (the so-called "Venice of the East"), Pei emigrated to the United States in 1935, where he obtained a diploma from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and another in design at Harvard, where he was a pupil of Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus.

He became an American citizen in 1954, he pursued academic work at Harvard and in 1955 he founded his office. Since then he has designed museums, public buildings, hotels, schools made of stone, steel and glass. His international style spread to France, the United States, Hong Kong, but also to Qatar, Luxembourg and China.

He has won several awards. In 1983 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize, with the motivation that "he gave this century some of the most beautiful interior spaces and among the most beautiful external forms".

Pei used the $ 100,000 scholarship award for Chinese students who wanted to study architecture in the United States.

He was married since 1942 he was married to Eileen Loo, with whom he had four children, two of whom are architects. His wife died in 2014.

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