I.M. Pei dies at 102: 10 selected works in Singapore and worldwide

I.M. Pei created a 21m-high glass pyramid as the entrance to the Louvre museum in Paris, which drew the hostility of many French who thought it clashed with the classical style of the rest of the facility.
I.M. Pei created a 21m-high glass pyramid as the entrance to the Louvre museum in Paris, which drew the hostility of many French who thought it clashed with the classical style of the rest of the facility.PHOTO: AFP
The OCBC Centre (left) and Raffles City, which comprises the Raffles City Shopping Centre, the Raffles City Convention Centre, the 42-storey Raffles City Office Tower, 28-storey twin-towers, and a 73-storey tower then occupied by the Westin Stamford.
The OCBC Centre (left) and Raffles City, which comprises the Raffles City Shopping Centre, the Raffles City Convention Centre, the 42-storey Raffles City Office Tower, 28-storey twin-towers, and a 73-storey tower then occupied by the Westin Stamford. PHOTOS: ST FILE

I.M. Pei, whose modern designs and high-profile projects made him one of the best-known and most prolific architects of the 20th century, has died, The New York Times reported on Thursday (May 16). He was 102.

Here are some of his better-known works, which include three iconic landmarks in Singapore.

1. OCBC CENTRE, SINGAPORE

Mr Pei's task in designing the iconic OCBC Centre in Chulia Street was to create a building of the future - one that would revitalise and regenerate the surrounding areas of shophouses and old offices.

The 52-storey building was opened on Oct 1, 1976. It was hailed as an example of innovative construction technology, as it was completed in less than two years.

The ambitious project was meant to reflect not just the strength of the banking group but also its transformation from a traditional Chinese bank into a financial institution of national importance and international reach.

The building had a banking hall that was 12.2m high and 1,300 sq m large. It had 27 lifts that could travel 366m per minute, making them the fastest lifts in Singapore at the time.

2. RAFFLES CITY, SINGAPORE

Raffles City was built in the early 1980s on a site bounded by Bras Basah Road, Beach Road, Stamford Road and North Bridge Road. Planning and constructing the massive complex took 17 years, and it was officially opened in October 1986.

It comprises the Raffles City Shopping Centre, the Raffles City Convention Centre, the 42-storey Raffles City Office Tower, 28-storey twin towers, and a 73-storey tower then occupied by the Westin Stamford, which became the tallest hotel in the world at the time. 

There were mixed reactions when the complex was unveiled. Some had thought that the design was too modernistic and overpowering. But today, it sits right at home in the Marina Bay skyline.

3. THE GATEWAY, SINGAPORE


The Gateway is most recognised for its crystalline pair of twin towers, which when seen from a certain angle, seems to create a two-dimensional optical illusion. 
PHOTO: ST FILE 

The Gateway, located in Beach Road, is most recognised for its crystalline pair of twin towers, which when seen from a certain angle, seems to create a two-dimensional optical illusion.

The 37-storey building, with its two identical parallelogram tower blocks, sits on the fringe of the Central Business District, near Bugis MRT station.

4. RENOVATION OF LOUVRE MUSEUM IN PARIS

Mr Pei created a 21m-high glass pyramid as the entrance to the museum, which drew the hostility of many French who thought it clashed with the classical style of the rest of the facility.

It made its debut in 1993 and Mr Pei considered it the most difficult job of his career.

5. NATIONAL CENTRE FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH IN BOULDER, COLORADO

Finished in the early 1960s, it sits on a mesa above Boulder with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop.

6. GREEN BUILDING AT MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IN CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

A 21-storey academic building at Mr Pei's alma mater opened in 1964.

7. JOHN F. KENNEDY LIBRARY IN DORCHESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

Set on a former landfill site overlooking the ocean, the late president's wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, played a major role in selecting Mr Pei for the job in the mid-1960s. It was dedicated in 1979.

8. BANK OF CHINA TOWER IN HONG KONG


One of the most prominent skyscrapers in the Hong Kong skyline, the 72-storey building was the tallest in Asia when it was completed in 1989. 
PHOTO: AFP 

One of the most prominent skyscrapers in the Hong Kong skyline, the 72-storey building was the tallest in Asia when it was completed in 1989.

9. ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CLEVELAND


Opened in 1995, it features a tower and glass pyramid on the shores of Lake Erie. 
PHOTO: AFP 

Opened in 1995, it features a tower and glass pyramid on the shores of Lake Erie.

 

10. EAST BUILDING OF THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART IN WASHINGTON

Opened in 1978 to house modern artworks.

SOURCES: Reuters, NLB eResources, Roots.sg