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On May 16, the architect of the famous Louvre's Pyramid, Ieoh Ming Pei, died. Here we tell you about his most representative works and about his career as an architect
Last Thursday, May 16, at the age of 102, Ieoh Ming Pei, renowned for the architectural realization of the Pyramid of the Louvre Museum, died. This architect was born in Canton, a subprovince in southern China, and went to live in the United States at age 18 to study architecture. He finished his studies at MIT, graduated in 1940 and taught at Harvard from 1945 to 1948. Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, two of the most important architects in Europe, were his guides during this process, so I.M. Pei is considered as one of the successors of an important line of European architecture.
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Later, in 1955, Pei obtained the American nationality and founded an architecture studio that is managed nowadays by his children: the I.M. Pei and Partners. From there he worked in important constructions in the United States, including one of the most recognized: the Library and Presidential Museum of John F. Kennedy in Boston. In addition, he worked at the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, at the World Trade Center Barcelona, in Barcelona, and at the United States Embassy in Uruguay, in Montevideo, among others.
His most recognized work and the one that catapulted him as one of the most important and beloved architects of the 20th century was the Pyramid of the Louvre Museum. Until the year in which Pei was commissioned for this work, the Museum had a side entrance that was not recognizable to the naked eye, so he decided to make a pyramid of glass and aluminum in the central park of the museum that gave direct access to an underground room that is fed by the overhead light that enters through the pyramid.
The structure weighs approximately 180 tons and has a height of 20.1 m. The pyramid was inaugurated on March 29, 1989, by the then president of France, Francois Mitterrand. Being a glass work, it contrasts with the museum's facilities that follow a classical architecture. This contrast between the modern and the classic has generated controversy for decades. There are those who say that the pyramid is a representation of Mitterrand's pharaoh complex, those who consider that the juxtaposition of the new with the old does not make sense and those who celebrate the idea of the Chinese-American architect.
Pei was also awarded the Pitzker Prize, the most important in the field of architecture. He also won the AIA Gold Medal, the Royal Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Without a doubt, Pei left a precedent in architecture and will probably be remembered as the last master of modern architecture.
LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero
Translated from "Ieoh Ming Pei: este fue el arquitecto detrás de la Pirámide del Louvre"