Happy 100th Birthday, I.M. Pei!
On April 26, I.M. Pei turned 100 years old.
Calvin Tsao worked for Pei on the design and construction of the Fragrant Hotel in Beijing, which opened in 1982. Quoted about his mentor in Archinect during an event at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Calvin reflected: “[Pei] moved way beyond the edifice [to consider] the entire environment, context, history, both the historical as well as the contemporary, the scholarship as well as the pragmatic and the poetic. He’s always looking at things in between, and that’s why it’s so hard to put him into a category. He’s not an academic or a conceptualist or a pragmatist, because he’s all of that, all at once…it’s his way with people. I can’t say whether he’s my mentor or my boss or whether he’s an inspiration, because he gets inside of you.”
Below is a picture of Pei, Calvin, and members of the project team at the Fragrant Hill Hotel in 1981.