Cesar Pelli (born on October 12, 1926 in San Miguel de Tucumán) was an Argentinian-born American architect who is known for having designed some of the world's tallest buildings like the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the World Financial Center complex in downtown Manhattan. Cesar Pelli earned his Diploma in Architecture from the University of Tucuman in Argentina. He first worked in the offices of Eero Saarinen serving as Project Designer for several buildings, including the TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport in New York and Morse and Stiles Colleges at Yale University. After this apprenticeship, he was Director of Design at DMJM and, later, Partner for Design at Gruen Associates, both in Los Angeles. Throughout these years, he designed several award-winning projects, including the San Bernardino City Hall in San Bernardino, California; the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, California; and the United States Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.
He became Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture in 1977 and founded Cesar Pelli & Associates. He resigned his post as Dean in 1984 but continued to lecture on architecture. Since the firm’s establishment, Pelli has personally originated and directed the design of each of its projects. In 2005, in recognition of the increased role of the firm’s principals, the firm was renamed Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Pelli has avoided formalistic preconceptions in his designs. He believed that buildings should be responsible citizens and that the aesthetic qualities of a building should grow from the specific characteristics of each project such as its location, its construction technology, and its purpose. In search of the most appropriate response to each project, his designs have covered a wide range of solutions and materials.
In 1995, the American Institute of Architects awarded Cesar Pelli the Gold Medal, in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished achievement in architecture. In 2004 was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the design of the Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 1991, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) listed Pelli among the ten most influential American architects.
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