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Renowned Architect I.M. Pei Turns 100
Now 100 years old, Ieoh Ming Pei, better known as I.M. Pei, moved to the United States when he was 17 to study architecture. He later began his career in New York, where he still lives today. “New York,” he has said, “is the most exciting city in the world; it pulsates with life.” The city is home to Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, which he started in 1955 as I. M. Pei & Associates.
Born in Guangzhou, China, on April 26, 1917, Pei became world-renowned for his masterfully designed structures, including The Bank of China Building that shaped Hong Kong's skyline in 1989; the Miho Museum outside of Kyoto, Japan, which was built into a mountain; and the Four Seasons Hotel in New York, which made an impact from the day it opened.
Then there is the glass pyramid of the Louvre in Paris, completed in 1988. Pei described the groundbreaking design as his most difficult project, which added a modern feel to the world's largest museum. At age 91, Pei worked on another museum, The Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, completed in 2008.
Interestingly, Pei also has a condominium building in his portfolio, the Centurion, in the heart of Manhattan. It shares many design elements with his more well-known work, as it combines a sophisticated strength with geometric precision. The façade and foyer of the Centurion is made of the same French limestone used at the Louvre. “Each apartment is a true collector's item,” said Thomas Guss of New York Residence, Inc., the firm that leads sales in the building.