A place of wonders

With the Doha skyline shimmering across the rippling water, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, shines bright in the Arabian night as one of the modern masterpieces of I.M. Pei, the architect of the pyramid at the Louvre.

This building, which opened in 2008, is one of more than 70 that Pei has designed.

The Chinese-American came out of retirement in 2008, at age 91, to design from scratch the museum, which houses the world's most complete collection of Islamic artefacts, said Architectural Digest in a retrospective.

Travelling for six months throughout the Muslim world, he immersed himself in its architecture and history.

Upon his return, he turned down all the sites the city offered, insisting on building the museum on an artificial peninsula at the end of Doha Bay.

According to the museum's official website, the building draws much influence from ancient Islamic architecture, notably the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo.

The prolific, award-winning architect turns 100 today.


I.M. Pei turns 100

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2017, with the headline 'A place of wonders'. Print Edition | Subscribe