César Pelli (1926 – 2019)

César Pelli (1926 – 2019), founder of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, is an Argentine American architect who has designed some of the world’s tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks.

César Pelli in 2010
César Pelli in 2010

Image source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A9sar_Pelli#/media/File:C%C3%A9sar_Pelli_(cropped).jpg

César Pelli: from Argentina to Worldwide Success

Architect César Pelli has been responsible for some ofthe world’s most striking skyscrapersover his long career. Born in 1926, Pelli studied at theUniversity of Tucuman, in his nativeArgentina, before beginning his career in the Michigan offices ofEero Saarinen. The architect then worked at the firmsDMJMandGruen Associates, before founding his own enterprise,Cesar Pelli & Associates(nowPelli Clarke Pelli). His designs are known for theirscale and sensitivity to the surrounding landscapeand include urban landmarks such asKuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers(at one point the tallest buildings in the world),New York’s World Financial Center, and the colorfulPacific Design Centerin West Hollywood. Over the next few years, his firm will complete buildings in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Salesforce Tower, San Francisco,2017
Salesforce Tower, San Francisco,2017

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/df5578a2-8128-4a94-9217-e08cec40b612bydalecruse

Brookfield Place, then the World Financial Center.
Brookfield Place, then the World Financial Center

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/72722902-662c-4706-a020-6d5138717eb7byMCS@flickr

Pelli’s Successful Career Achievements

He first worked in the offices ofEero Saarinenserving asProject Designerfor several buildings, including theTWA Terminal at JFK Airportin New York andMorse and Stiles Collegesat Yale University. After this apprenticeship, he wasDirector of Design at DMJMand, later,Partner for Design at Gruen Associates在洛杉矶。在these years, he designed several award-winning projects, including theSan Bernardino City Hallin San Bernardino, California; thePacific Design Centerin Los Angeles, California; and theUnited States Embassyin Tokyo, Japan.

In 1977, Pelli becameDean of the Yale University School of Architectureand also foundedCesar Pelli& Associates.He then resigned his post as Dean in 1984 but continues to lecture on architecture. Among other significant projects during this period are theCrile Clinic Buildingin Cleveland, Ohio;Herring Hallat Rice University in Houston, Texas; theGreen Buildingat the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California; and the construction of theWells Fargo Centerin Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1989. In 2005, in recognition of the increased role of the firm’s principals, the firm was renamed Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.

Wells Fargo Center, Minneapolis. Though constructed six decades after the height of the Art Deco movement, the building carries its latter-day deco detailing all over its exterior.
Wells Fargo Center, Minneapolis. Though constructed six decades after the height of the Art Deco movement, the building carries its latter-day deco detailing all over its exterior.

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/b438533f-77fe-49f0-b93f-14a35ee76309byMulad

Pelli’s Style and Work Ethic

César Pelli has alwaysavoided formalistic preconceptionsin his designs. In fact, he firmly believes thatbuildings should be responsible citizensand that the aesthetic qualities of a building should grow from the specific characteristics of each project such as itslocation, itsconstructiontechnology, and its purpose. In search of the most appropriate response to each project, his designs have covered a wide range of solutions and materials.

Pelli’s Most Important Buildings

As a prolific architect, César Pelli has designed many noteworthy buildings in the span of his four-decade career. Some of his most notable contributions include thePetronas Towers in Kuala Lumpurand thePacific Design Center, West Hollywood, California.

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Completed in 1997, thePetronas Towersin Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, held the title ofworld’s tallest buildings until 2004. The architecture takes its inspiration fromMalaysian craftsand materials andIslamic design motifs. The twin 88-story towers, connected by atwo-story sky bridgeat the 41st and 42nd floors, rise from a mixed-use base of cultural, commercial, and public spaces set in a large park in the center of the city. In 2004, Pelli was awarded theAga Khan Award for Architecturefor the design of the two skyscrapers.

Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/af20b884-f1c1-4620-b8bc-fcf915fdc88cbyGeorg Wittberger

Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, California

Pelli worked on Los Angeles’sPacific Design Centerfor more than40 years, from the design of the first building, known as theBlue Whale, in the1970sto the completion of theRed Building in 2012.The campus, which also includes the1988 Green Building, is spread over 14 acres in West Hollywood.
The PDC houses the West Coast’s top decorating and furniture market, with showrooms, public and private spaces, a branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and two restaurants.TheCenter has 100 showroomswhich display and sell 2,200 interior product lines to professional interior designers, architects, facility managers, decorators, and dealers.

The Pacific Design Center hosts manyscreenings,exhibitions,lectures,meetings,special eventsandreceptions设计、娱乐和艺术社区. The annualElton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Partyhas traditionally been held at the PDC. The party is one of the longest running and best known of thepost-Oscar partiesas well as being a multimillion-dollar fundraiser for the foundation.

Pacific Design Center - Red Building nearing completion, Feb. 28, 2011.
Pacific Design Center – Red Building nearing completion, Feb. 28, 2011

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A Career Starred with Awards

Over his career, Pelli has received twelve Honorary Degrees, over 200 awards for design excellence and is aFellow of the American Institute of Architects, aMember of the American Academy of Arts and Letters,National Academy of Design,International Academy of Architecture, and ofL’Academie d’Architecture de France.

TheAmerican Institute of Architectsalso named him one of the ten most influential living American architects in 1991 and awarded him theAIA Gold Medalin 1995. In 2008, theCouncil on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitatpresented him withThe Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mauricio Macri attended a tribute to the architect César Pelli.
César Pelli

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/45dea9f6-b241-4311-8eb3-9d5bf661c1bbbyGobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

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