I. m. pei, modernist architect: success lies in obstinacy

 INDUSTRY NEWS     |      2019-08-12 10:16
"I used to think my father wasn't that great." When I interviewed pei's son, Sandi, in Hong Kong last year, he gave me one of the most powerful quotes. Rest assured, it was before he could read his father's architectural language. "When I was young, I didn't even feel deeply influenced by my father. When I grew up, my three brothers followed in their father's footsteps and went into the field of architecture.

The Louvre in France
 
In global architecture, ieoh Ming pei is not only a brand, but also a spokesman for subversive architectural concepts. The glass pyramid in front of the Louvre in France, the sword-shaped bank of China tower in Hong Kong, the daring Kennedy library outside Boston, and so on, are all too much to insist on. Perhaps heaven has big engineering needs, and the last of these "modernist architects" will have to be summoned to put an end to his 102 years on earth.


Pei was a committed modernist whose architecture was eccentric, but who also espoused crisp, simple geometry.
PHOTO BY OWEN FRANKEN/CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES) OWEN franken-corbis /CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES

Pei was born in suzhou, China's Banks family (under emperor qianlong jiangnan lived in bei) in suzhou, but he chose architecture as a lifelong career, western vanity fair privately to "China Metternich" (napoleon Austrian foreign minister Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, 1773-1859 years) to call him, he can always in politics and power; The struggle between money and the public interest, etc., still allows for openness and opinions. Paul Goldberger, a famous American architecture critic and former dean of Parsons School of Design, wrote an obituary of i. m. pei in the New York times, emphasizing that his buildings "stand the test of time". He not only solved problems for clients, but also regarded architecture as an artistic language, presenting exclusive ideas and concepts.

There is a fine line between persistence and stubbornness.

Before you can "stand the test of time," you have to remove the word "compromise" from the lexicon, carry the plaque through the ages, and say no to a society that values what its customers say. I often change my mind and wonder how ieoh Ming pei can guarantee not regret when he sticks to his ideas and makes important choices in life. But he's a stubborn Taurus with no worries and a bit of an artist's romance. "He thinks architecture is always challenging him and enjoys stimulating himself and growing up in the challenge." "She quotes her father, while referring to her own built-in" berlusconi gene."
 
As pei once said, "architecture is a mirror of life. You just need to look at the architecture and feel the past existence, the spirit of a place, they are the reflection of society." According to bayley, his father always had a deep understanding of the history and culture of a place before designing, unlike some architects who regard the land as a stage for personal grandstanding. As she slowly admired her father's work on the ground, she slowly disassembled the idea behind it. "Even at the age of 100, he never stops learning, because the building process is learning, learning to fit in with different guests and places, and at the same time to understand a place thoroughly." Everything from skyscrapers to museums reflects pei's careful balance between the avant-garde and the conservative.
 
"He's very original and opinionated, and he's quick to 3D print ideas in his head." BeiLi graduate soon in 16 years in working with his father, and 孻, better relationship with his father, Mr Old when born every Sunday family dinner with his father, "I looked at his works from the drawings to model until finally built buildings, learned of his architectural space, property and processing method of light and shadow." There's also a little bit of a secret that comes out of his father's head when he's half asleep. The workaholic dad, who works six days a week, keeps a notebook by his bed. The great oaks begin with the fragments of a dream...
 
'ask me to redesign and I will resign!'
 
"He's a genius in architecture, he's a genius in design." Bayley said. This gifted giant has always believed so strongly in his own ideas, because pei was convinced that architecture was a public work of art, and he had his own reasons for doing so.
 
Paul Goldberger mentioned the stories of pei and his harvard graduate students, wang da-hong and pei, two of Taiwan's leading architects. After the donghai university building was completed, the foundation commissioned i. m. pei to design the chapel in the center of the campus. Pei's special design, wang da-hong estimates that the foundation will not approve. When he met with Mr. Pei in Taipei, he was sure to hear that the foundation asked him to redesign, but he smiled and said in English: 'I have said to the foundation that if they ask me to redesign the chapel, I will request an immediate redesign.' This golden cow is not simple. Wang da-hong described bei as "aspiring to move from New York's Madison avenue to Europe and Asia, without hesitation to realize his ambition".
 
Boston is the "second home" of i. m. pei, and the whole city is like "i. m. pei museum", where i. m. pei became a world-class architect from an ordinary engineer. In the 1970s, he met one of life's most tragic setbacks with the construction of the John Hancock Tower in Boston. In 1973, when the building was about to be completed, a lot of glass began to fall off. Although it was later found that the glass problem had nothing to do with i. m. pei's design, it had added a big stain on his profession. Moreover, his architect building was involved in many years of litigation, and a large number of customers were lost.
 
Pei does not for money words and deeds from the plan, also dare to say admirable. He did not hesitate to criticise the mediocre soviet-influenced architecture he saw in China, and even publicly urged China to look back on its heritage and not blindly follow the eastern European model and copy others. Pei was later invited by the Chinese authorities to design a skyscraper hotel as a symbol of China's reform, opening up and pursuit of modernization, but he refused. Paul Goldberger recalls pei's rationale: "my conscience wouldn't allow me to imagine a tower next to the Forbidden City, like the Hilton overlooking Buckingham Palace." Finally, Beijing countered by suggesting that i.m. pei build a hotel on the outskirts of the city, which he agreed to, the xiangshan hotel, which opened in 1982.
 
One of pei's most difficult moments was designing the pyramid at the Louvre in Paris. At that time, his father was criticized by thousands of men, and the French even called him "the pharaoh of Paris", criticising his designs as harmful to the city. Although is the noble origin, but you can imagine, a black hair, yellow skin Chinese, in France more than 30 years ago outside the Louvre proposed to build a glass pyramid, is how deviant! Is it up to a Chinese to teach French taste in space? No way. The New York times, now full of praise for ieoh Ming pei, also condemned his design as a "joke."
 
Therefore, pei was not at the general level of criticism. But he was always a three-piece suit, a gentleman with thick round glasses and a slightly upturned mouth. Eileen Loo, who has spent decades with pei, recalls: "I could tell how tired he was from the way he came home every night to open the door...


Suzhou museum
PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS: ANOTHER BELIEVER

Pei regards buildings as works of art in the city, and his father's passion for art is also mentioned in the article. He is also particularly interested in designing art galleries, which has earned him the reputation of "geometric magician". In 1964, pei was invited to design the Kennedy presidential library and museum to applause. He went on to design the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The glass pyramid belongs to the new body of the Louvre in France; Later, there were works by MIHO Art Museum, suzhou Museum, the new wing of Deutsches Historisches Museum, and the Museum of Islamic Art in doha, capital of Qatar, showing the history and culture of their countries with elegant and concise geometric lines and light.
 
Pei's last major work of cultural architecture, The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, MIA, opened in 2008 when he was in his 90s. The entire project cost us $300 million (hk $2.34 billion) and took two years to complete. In the bay of this desert nation, pale-brown modern brick towers emerge from artificial islands, and palm trees line the gallery's walkway, shadowing the pool like mirages.
 
In the eyes of bayley, his father was humorous and funny. Although he retired, he still cared about architecture and design. In his later years, he still believed that "good architecture not only occupies the place, but also provides space and responds to society." As an architectural giant, pei also knows that a good family is the most important property in life.
 
When I was born, i. m. pei said to build an underground paradise, so there was the mei-xiu art museum in the big looming Japan. He remembered the landscape of the garden where his parents lived in suzhou in his childhood.
 
 
"The mountain has a small opening, as if there were a light." He was taken away, not forgetting to create a poetic paradise for the world in advance.