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I M Pei, a pillar of modern architecture, dies at 102

AFP  |  New York 

I M Pei, the preeminent US who forged a distinct brand of modern building design with his sharp lines and stark structures, has died, his sons' firm said Thursday. He was 102 years old.

The Chinese-born was the mastermind behind the bold in Paris, the landmark 72-story Bank of tower in Hong Kong and Athens' Museum of Modern Art, works seen as embracing modernity tempered by a grounding in history.

In his adopted home country the United States, became perhaps best known for his landmark at Washington's National Gallery of Art, deftly melding sharp modern angles with the monumental grandeur the US capital is known for.

"Contemporary tend to impose modernity on something. There is a certain concern for history but it is not very deep," told in a 2008 interview. "I understand that times have changed, we have evolved. But I don't want to forget the beginning." "A lasting has to have roots." Born in in 1917, banker's son Ieoh came to the US at 17 to study architecture, receiving an undergraduate degree in the field from the Institute of Technology in 1940.

He then enrolled in of Design, where he received a masters degree in in 1946. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1954.

His revered projects include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio; the Miho Museum of Shigo, Japan; the in Dallas, Texas, and The in Boston, Despite being a confessed Islamic art novice, he was also commissioned to design the in Doha, Qatar, which opened in 2008.

In 1988, then-French inducted Pei as a Chevalier in the Legion d'Honneur, later raising him to the rank of Officier when Phase II of the Grand was completed in 1993.

US awarded Pei the Medal of Freedom that same year, when he was also elected an Honorary Academician of the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 05:05 IST