Pelli, César

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Pelli, César

César Pelli, 1926–, American architect, b. Tucumán, Argentina. Pelli graduated (1949) from the Univ. of Tucumán, immigrated (1952) to the United States, and subsequently attended (1952–54) the Univ. of Illinois. He worked with Eero Saarinen from 1954 to 1964, the year he became a U.S. citizen. In 1977 he established his own firm in New Haven, Conn., and from that year until 1984 he was also the dean of Yale's School of Architecture. Pelli does not have a readily identifiable style; working within a modernist idiom, he strives to adapt each project appropriately to its culture, function, and site. This approach is evident in a wide variety of major public projects, including the glass-clad Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles (1977); Museum of Modern Art extension and residential tower, New York City (1984); NTT Headquarters, Tokyo (1990); World Financial Center complex, New York City (1987); and the lofty Canary Wharf Tower, London (1991), Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur (1997), and Goldman Sachs building, Jersey City, N.J. (2004).

His wife, Diana Balmori (dēä´nä bälmôr´ē), 1932–2016, b. Spain, was a noted American landscape architect whose a collaborative approach to design took architectural, social, and ecological factors into consideration. Among her many projects were a master plan to convert Bilbao's old industrial port into a park system that connected to the river and the Frank Gehry–designed museum, a rooftop garden for Silvercup Studios, Long Island City, N.Y., and landscape plans for new government ministries in Sejong City, South Korea. Her books include A Landscape Manifesto (2010).

See studies by J. Pastier (1980), P. Goldberger et al. (1991), D. Anger (1996), and P. Barreneche, ed. (2003).

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