Ieoh Ming Pei’s architecture (1917 – 2019) can be characterized by its faith in modernism, humanized by its subtlety, lyricism, and beauty. Pei was born in Guangzhou China and came to the United States in 1935 to study first at the University of Pennsylvania and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 1955, he formed the partnership of I.M. Pei & Associates, which became I.M. Pei & Partners in 1966. The partnership received the 1968 Architectural Firm Award of The American Institute of Architects. In 1989, the firm was renamed Pei Cobb Freed and Partners.
Pei has designed over fifty projects in this country and abroad, many of which have been award winners. He has been chosen the 1983 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Ieoh Ming Pei has given the last century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms. The significance of his work goes far beyond them: for his concern has always been the surroundings in which his buildings would rise. He has refused to limit himself to a narrow range of architectural problems. His work includes not only palaces of industry, government and culture, but also some of the best moderate and low-income housing. His versatility and skill in the use of materials approach the level of poetry. Pei’s personal qualities of diplomacy and patience have enabled him to draw together disparate people and disciplines to create an harmonious environment.