Ieoh Ming Pei
The China-born North American architect Ieoh Ming Pei has received the 2010 RIBA Gold Medal. Born in Canton in 1917, at 18 he moved to the United States, where he studied architecture at the MIT and then joined Harvard’s GSD, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. In 1964 he carried the day over Mies van der Rohe and Louis Kahn in the John F. Kennedy Library competition. The John Hancock tower in Boston (1975) and the extension of the National Gallery in Washington (1978) gave him experience in the construction of large-scale works and brought him recognition. In 1989 the Louvre extension opened with his iconic glass pyramid, and the following year he completed another well-known work, the Bank of China in Hong Kong, in its day the tallest building outside the US. Pritzker laureate in 1983 and Praemium Imperiale in 1989, Pei continues active at work at 92 years of age, after almost 70 of professional career. In appreciation of the prize bestowed upon him, Pei has donated one of his original drawings of the Louvre pyramid to the RIBA archives, which custody one of the most important collections of architectural drawings.