American architect of Chinese origin, Io Ming Pei, better known as I. M. Pei, from his youth was fond of fine arts and engineering, which played a fundamental role in his life. Once in the United States, he completely immersed himself in architecture. He was especially fascinated by modernism, in the field of which he reached unprecedented heights. His masterpieces immortalized the name of the creator, because some of them have become an adornment of the most famous landmarks in the world.
1. Presidential Library-Museum. John F. Kennedy in Boston (Massachusetts, USA)
The development of the project of the Presidential Library-Museum dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy in Boston (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum) was the first major work of the then little-known architect Io Min Pei. His concept impressed Mrs. Kennedy the most, which was the decisive moment in choosing the winner of the competition in which I. M. Pei bypassed famous and famous designers.
Interesting fact: The competition for the best design of the library-museum was announced almost immediately after the assassination of President Kennedy, and a year later, in 1964, the results were summed up. Jacqueline Kennedy announced the victory of the Io Ming project, but delays and delays began. The project began only in 1977, and the grand opening took place in 1979. Thanks to donations from 36 million people, a magnificent building and a unique repository of the world's largest archive of documents and things related to the life and work of the American writer Ernest Hemingway (The Ernest Hemingway Collection). But the museum expositions are dedicated to John F. Kennedy himself and the era in which he lived.
At the grand opening, the president's widow said on this occasion: “The library-museum will become an important center for education, exchange and thought, which will expand and change over time … the time when he lived, a center that will ignite the ideals of democracy and freedom in young people around the world."
2. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland (Ohio, USA)
The design of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, more commonly referred to as the "Rock Hall", is an excellent example of museum architecture, reflecting the artist's aspiration and passion for simple yet expressive forms. Pei's modernist project, as always, was full of dynamic angular forms that perfectly capture the energy of popular music that excited America's youth in the mid-1950s. According to the outstanding author of the project, he tried to represent the musical style using "an architectural vocabulary that is bold and new."
The boldness of rock and roll rhythms is expressed in both the glass pyramid and the massive tiled tower, which are connected by a futuristic object with expressive geometry, similar to a bridge and a cylinder supported by a large column. All of these volumes, galleries and walkways come together to provide ample exhibition space, lobbies, gift shops and atmospheric cafés.
3. Bank tower in Hong Kong (China)
Despite the fact that Pei moved with his parents to the United States, where he received his education, he was proud of his Chinese origin (although because of this he was very often insulted).“I feel that China is in my blood, wherever I live,” said the eminent architect. Therefore, it is not surprising that his creation is on his native land. At one time, the impressive Bank of China Tower (1990) was the tallest skyscraper outside the United States. The bank building was thrown up 367 m (without the spire, its height is 315 m).
The most recognizable building on the Hong Kong skyline has become a decoration of the city's downtown and a special attraction, although it was not without confrontation. Everyone knows how the Chinese feel about the philosophy of feng shui, which obeys the entire way of their life, from the construction of a house and the location of residential areas in it and ending with a place in a cemetery. Feng Shui masters criticized the shape of the building and its location, demanding that the object be removed so that it would not attract trouble, but the changes made a little tempered their ardor, and over time forced the Bank of China Tower to be accepted.
4. Project Le Grand Louvre in Paris (France)
When François Mitterrand was elected President of France in 1981, he laid out an ambitious plan for various construction projects, one of which was the reconstruction of the Louvre, the oldest museum with a rich collection of art and historical relics in France. This honorable mission was entrusted to I. M. Pei, who by that time had glorified with impressive museum projects. He became the first foreign architect to work on the country's most famous treasury.
Given the dramatic changes planned, it is not surprising that the public and critics did their best to prevent reconstruction. A wave of discontent swept across the country, however, the work did not stop.
In the center of the courtyard, a glass-steel pyramid nevertheless appeared, which was supposed to become the entrance to the museum. The architect explained this vision of the new object as a tribute to the refined geometry of the works of the French landscape architect André Le Notre, who designed the royal gardens and parks in Versailles. Pei also found the pyramidal shape to be the most appropriate and quite "compatible with the architecture of the Louvre, especially with the faceted planes of its roofs."
Interesting fact: The discovery of the Louvre pyramid coincided with four other projects Pei was working on, prompting architecture critic Paul Goldberger to declare 1989 the "Year of Pei" in The New York Times. This was an additional reward for the implementation of the exhausting implementation of an extraordinary idea, about which the author of the idea said: "After the Louvre, no project will be too difficult."
5. Museum of Islamic Art in Doha (Qatar)
The ornate outlines of ancient Islamic architecture and the logic of modernist design are organically intertwined in another fascinating project by I. M. Pei. It turned out to be The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, which itself turned into a work of art, effectively emphasized by the waters of the Persian Gulf.
According to the editors of Novate.ru, before its construction, the country's authorities did not announce any competitions, but immediately offered the 91-year-old brilliant architect (he lived 102 years in total) to develop the design of a new cultural object. Despite his age and the fact that Pei has long since retired from active development of design projects, he embarked on a journey across Muslim countries to find common ground between centuries of history and modernity, the tradition of Islamic architecture and modernity.
As a result, he insisted on creating an artificial island for the construction of The Museum of Islamic Art, "in order to always preserve the isolated monumentality of the museum." This wish was fulfilled and, as time has shown, the iconic architect was right. The museum, surrounded by water and the city park, laid out side by side, have become the most popular attraction of the capital of Qatar.
It should be noted that the development of the interior design of the museum was carried out by the team of the famous French architect and designer Jean Michel Wilmotte. On the five floors of the museum, they managed to organize impressive spaces for exhibition halls, galleries, library, training centers, conference room, cafe, gift shop, male and female prayer halls.
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