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RIP I M Pei – East- West Center in Manoa


  • Henry Moore and I M Pei
    RIP I M Pei at 102

    Obit from Phaidon-2019

  • Jefferson Hall, East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii This 1963 building was one of a handful commissioned from Pei by the US government, who viewed the East-West Center, in the centre of the Pacific as “a meeting place for the intellectuals of the East and the West,”

    “Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei was tapped to design the core buildings of the new campus on the eastern edge of the university grounds,” Bradley writes. “Pei was already coming into his own as a brilliant architect, after designing a number of buildings in Atlanta, Denver, and was also designing the new L’Enfant Plaza in DC at the time. Of course, the symbolism of having a Chinese-American architect design the buildings of the East-West Center was probably not lost on anybody.”

    The residential blocks were heavily influenced by Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation designs; (Pei was such a Corbu fan he even wore glasses similar to those favoured by the Swiss-French architect). However, the Hawaiian climate allowed Pei a little more freedom, prompting him to include outdoor communal kitchens for Honolulu students, offering them good ventilation, and even better views of the surrounding hills.

    I M Pei best buildings

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