Prominent architect IM Pei dies at age 102

I.M. Pei poses in front of the Louvre glass pyramid which he designed in Paris

I.M. Pei, the internationally renowned architect and planner who controversially reshaped downtown Oklahoma City, died Wednesday night at age 102.

I. M. Pei passed away at the age of 102 overnight.

Pei was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1983, with the jury describing him as having given the 20th century "some of its most lovely interior spaces and exterior forms".

A vast, one-acre, six-storey-high sunken plaza, dubbed the "Great Space" sits between the two towers.

Guangzhou-born MIT and Harvard-educated Pei was responsible for such iconic structures as the Louvre's glass pyramid and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

Pei said the Louvre was undoubtedly the most hard job of his career.

Other well-known Pei buildings include the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Dallas City Hall in Texas.

He brought drama to the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan and Raffles City in Singapore. High-rise hotels and office buildings, a spectacular park and condominium housing would encircle it.

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The museum in Qatar that opened in 2008 was inspired by Islamic architectural history, especially the 9th century mosque of Ahmed ibn Tulun in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. "So I studied the life of Muhammad". I couldn't walk the streets of Paris without people looking at me as if to say: 'There you go again.

"The design of this building is in itself a very Chinese way of thinking about architecture, and a very innovative way of trying to put Chinese architecture within the dialogue of western architectural theory and practice", said Andy Xiong, an architecture student.

Pei dedicated energetic efforts to supporting the arts and education, serving on visiting committees at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Harvard and MIT as well as a range of U.S. government panels including the National Council on the Humanities and National Council on the Arts.

In 1975, Pei was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Three years later he became Chancellor of the Academy, the first architect to hold the position.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan honoured him with a National Medal of Arts. The museum, designed by I.M. Pei, houses a collection of Islamic art from the 7th to the 19th century.

Among his many honors were the American Institute of Architects' Gold Medal in 1979; the Grande Medaille d'Or from the Academie d'Architecture de France three years later; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the USA, from President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

"His versatility and skill in the use of materials approach the level of poetry", the committee wrote.

Pei was also responsible for designing the accompanying "pyramid ininversée" (inverted pyramid)-an inverse of the original pyramid that is located in the Carrousel du Louvre in front of the Louvre Museum.

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