We grieve the loss of César Pelli (1926-2019), architect and educator, who served on the Pritzker Prize Jury for four years, beginning in 1979, the inaugural year of the award.
Celebrated for reshaping city skylines, Pelli’s iconic skyscrapers have included the World Financial Center, New York (1986); One Canada Square, London (1991); Wells Fargo Center, Minneapolis (1996); Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur (1998); International Finance Centre, Hong Kong (2003); Torre de Cristal, Madrid (2008); Gran Torre Santiago (2013); and Salesforce Tower, San Francisco (2018).
“I see my buildings as pieces of cities, and in my designs, I try to make them into responsible and contributing citizens.”
His work was not limited to soaring buildings, as he was also lauded for transformational spaces around the world including the Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood (1975); renovation and expansion for the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1984); National Museum of Art, Osaka (2004); and Connecticut Science Center, Hartford (2009).
Born in San Miguel de Tucumán, Pelli studied architecture at the National University of Tucumán and then at the University of Illinois Champaign School of Architecture. He worked under Eero Saarinen for a decade, and established Cesar Pelli & Associates (now Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects) with his late wife, Diana Balmori, and Fred Clarke in 1977.
He was the dean of Yale School of Architecture from 1977 to 1984, and was individually awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1995. His firm received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004 for the Petronas Towers.
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