The world-renowned architect Ieoh Ming Pei is no more. He is best known for the outstanding glass pyramid situated at the courtyard of the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
A Remarkable Architect Born in China
- M. Pei was born to Tsuyee Pei and Lien Kwun. He did schooling from Shanghai. He had closely studied the catalogs for higher learning institutions from around the world. University of Pennsylvania’s architectural programming impressed young Pei the most, and he got admission there.
Hollywood was the main factor of motivation for him. He was fascinated by college life representations in Bing Crosby’s films, which were fully different from China’s academic atmosphere.
Career in America
In 1948, the New York state real estate tycoon William Zeckendorf recruited I. M. Pei for his company Webb and Knapp in order to design buildings in the US. In his adopted country, his best-known work is the National Gallery of Art’s East Building. Pei then enrolled in the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University, where he got a Master’s in architecture. Pei became a naturalized US citizen later in 1954.
The Architect behind the Louvre Pyramid
As a designer, Pei was commissioned to work for the Louvre Museum’s overhaul by the French President François Mitterrand back in the 1980’s. One of the main goals of the “Grand Louvre Project” was making the museum more easily accessible to visitors. As more and more peered into the coveted museum, something had to be done to make it more accessible to bigger crowds. The French knew it more than anyone else did. The rest is pretty much etched in the nation’s history.
The pyramid designed by Pei turned the former Royal Palace’s complex into a very modern one while making the Parisian museum more easily accessible to one and all.
The large pyramid consists of 70 triangular-shaped and 603 rhombus-shaped glass segments. It serves as the entrance to the museum and is encircled by three other small pyramids. There is more significance to the glass pyramid than just numbers. The museum even gives a visitor trail centered on some of the highlights featured in The Da Vinci Code. The trail lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes. Those on a private Louvre Museum tour get to follow the footsteps of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu, The Da Vinci Code’s main characters, with a challenge to tell apart fact and fiction. Millions have taken the visitor trail, bringing in more revenue to the national museum. It all starts at the I. M. Pei pyramid, of course.