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Conversations with I.M. Pei

Light is the Key

München: Prestel, 2000
ISBN 978-3791321769

In a series of interviews with filmmaker Gero von Boehm, this volume explores the origins, ideas and motives behind the Chinese-born American architect I.M. Pei’s work. In the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and the controversial Grand Louvre glass pyramid in Paris we see how his architectural oeuvre is characterised by the importance of light. Pei has commented that architecture is essentially geometry modelled by light. He considers people and light to be the two essential ingredients of his architecture, since their presence and interplay make his buildings come to life. Reflecting on his earliest influences of his childhood in Shanghai, his studies at MIT and Harvard and the developments and highlights of his long and eventful career. Pei reveals himself as an architect who has incorporated both Eastern and Western ideas into his designs.