I.M. PEI - AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE - CARTER WISEMAN
I.M. PEI - AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE - CARTER WISEMAN
This book traces I.M. Pei from his early days as a student (primarily at M.I.T. and Harvard) and protege of Zeckendorf, 'the most flamboyant real estate developer of his time' - Zeckendorf had one of the first car phones in the United States, almost half a century before cell phones would become commonplace. Zeckendorf and Pei made for an interesting team, going from bigger to bigger projects all over the world. However, in the end, Pei had to strike out on his own.
He had already begun to do this on projects like the Luce Memorial Chapel in Taiwan, whose angles and interior design were both inspired and inspirational, showing an unusual harmony of geometric form.
This book traces Pei through early struggles with less inspiring projects that he nonetheless managed to give creative flair, through to later projects that, having gained an international reputation, he could finally command with great creative freedom. He was now a recognized artist. He continued to do 'regular' work for corporations, schools, housing and municipal organisations, but he could also command the 'plum' jobs of significant and lasting structures.
Many of his works show a genius not only of design for the structures themselves but also an appreciation of the environment in which they are situated. Examples of this include the towers in Philadelphia, which soar over the much older buildings in the city without detracting from their own variety of 'Revolutionary' flair, and the Fragrant Hill Hotel in Beijing, which incorporated the Chinese sense of inter-connected-ness of buildings with gardens and nature.
This is a beautifully done book, with hundreds of illustrations throughout a text that is both informative and accessible, interesting in being written as a story and set of reminiscences rather than a straight architectural treatise."
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