Ieoh Ming Pei, architect of some of the world's most acclaimed buildings, has been chosen the 1983 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
I.M. Pei's structures have received global recognition for the past three decades, beginning with the Mile High Center in Denver, Colorado in 1955, and most recently, the Fragrant Hill Hotel in Beijing, China, the country of his birth.
Among his other renowned works in this country are the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the West Wing of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the New York City Convention and Exhibition Center, the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and the Texas Commerce Tower in Houston. Abroad, two of his well-known office complexes are The Gateway and the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation in Singapore. Pei was recently selected to design the headquarters for the Bank of China in Hong Kong.
The international Pritzker Architecture Prize, consisting of $100,000 tax-free and a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore, was established in 1979 to reward a creative endeavor not honored by the Nobel Prizes.
Jay A. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, which administers and funds the prize, made the presentation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art today.
Carleton Smith, chairman of the International Awards Foundation and secretary to the jury, announced the name of the Laureate, saying Pei was unanimously elected to the honor by our distinguished panel of jurors: J. Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery of Art; Arata Isozaki, noted Japanese architect; Philip Johnson, the first Pritzker Prize Laureate; J. Irwin Miller, chairman of the executive and finance committees, Cummins Engine Company; Kevin Roche, 1982 Pritzker Prize Laureate; and Thomas J. Watson, Jr., chairman emeritus, IBM Corporation.
As spokesman for the jury, Smith quoted the official citation as follows: "Ieoh Ming Pei has given this century some of its most beautiful interior spaces and exterior forms. The significance of his work goes far beyond them: for his concern has always been the surroundings in which his buildings would rise."
Further, "I.M. Pei has refused to limit himself to a narrow range of architectural problems. His work over the past forty years includes not only palaces of industry, government and culture, but also some of the best moderate and low-income housing. Through his skill he has elevated the use of materials to an art."
The citation concluded, "His personal qualities of diplomacy and patience have enabled him to draw together disparate people and disciplines to create an harmonious environment."