Born in Suzhou, China, on April 26, 1917, Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei grew up in Hong Kong and Shanghai before moving to the United States to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He then went on to study engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, finishing his studies at Harvard's Graduate School of Design under the tutelage of former Bauhaus masters Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer.
In 1955, Pei founded his own practice, I.M. Pei & Associates, which later changed its name to Pei & Partners in 1966, becoming Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in 1989. A year later, in 1990, Pei retired from full-time practice. Yet, in 2017—at 100 years old—he still took on some consulting work for Pei Partnership Architects, the firm founded by his sons Chien Chung Pei and Li Chung Pei.
Known as a modernist, his forms tend to be based on arrangements of simple geometric shapes. His strong structures are usually a statement in steel, glass, and concrete. Upon receiving a Pritzker Prize in 1983, the jury stated that he "has given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms." And indeed he has. Here, we take a look at 10 of our favorite I.M. Pei buildings.
Fountain Place - Dallas, Texas, 1986
Get the Dwell Newsletter
Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.