Monday, July 22, 2019

In Memory of César Pelli

Last week, César Pelli, one of my favorite architects passed away at 92. There are many interesting articles that have been published in the last few days, such as this one from The New York Times: Cesar Pelli, Designer of Iconic Buildings Around the World, Dies at 92.

Albeit very small, I have a couple personal connections I would like to share in this post.

All the images in this post are photos I have personally taken. I would like to have included a photo of Mr. Pelli, but the only one I had, which I was in, was taken with a cheap two-megapixel early 2000's era camera in a low light condition!

Keep reading to learn more...

This past December (2018) my family traveled to New Your City, and while there we visited the Brookfield Place, formerly called the World Financial Center. This is an elegant collection of towers and shopping center which sustained significant damage during 9/11. I specifically pulled my family into this building, proclaiming it was designed by César Pelli, during out trip.

We have a few beautiful buildings designed by Mr. Pelli's firm here in Minnesota. The third tallest building composing the Minneapolis skyline is the Wells Fargo Center. Also, in the heart of downtown is the Minneapolis Public Library. I wish I had better photos!

Here in Duluth, Minnesota, where I live, we have a world-class music hall at the University of Minnesota - Duluth which was designed by Pelli's firm; Weber Music Hall. I had the privilege of working on this project, as part of the Architect of Record team. This was when I worked at Stainus Johnson Architects, which is now part of TKDA.

Mr. Pelli came to Duluth a few times for the project. When he project was completed, he even came and personally gave a presentation to the general public about the project. As many others have noted over the years, he was an incredibly humble person.

I published a post about this project just a few months ago: Past Projects: UMD Weber Music Hall - Designed by César Pelli.

One last thing to share... a few years after working on the Weber Music Hall project, I begin writing a book on architectural hand sketching. In this book I included sketches from various architects. I was delighted to get a digital copy of a hand sketch from Mr. Pelli for this book; it is a whimsical sketch of the BOK Center in Oklahoma.

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