I.M. Pei


Landau Building, Dreyfuss Building, Green Building (EAPS), Wiesner Building

The master of modern architecture, I.M. Pei has definitely left his mark on Massachusetts. Born in China in 1917, he came to the United States in the 1930s to complete his higher education. Pei got his B.S. at MIT and M.S. at Harvard, both in architecture.
He was snatched up right out of school by the firm Webb and Knapp, and worked on various projects including: Mile HIgh Center in Denver, Colorado, the Hyde Park Redevelopment in Chicago, and the Place Ville-Marie in Montreal. If that wasn’t enough, Pei established his own architectural firm, I.M. Pei & Associates. In 1960, Pei was selected to design the John F. Kennedy Library at Harvard University. A few years later, he designed the the east building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Yet, if those don’t impress, his most famous, and most recognizable design, is the glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris. In 2013, at age 96, he was the highest paid architecture in the world. How about that rap sheet!
He never forgot his dear old Cambridge, though. I.M. Pei & Partners (changed from associates) designed several building on MIT’s campus, including the Landau, Dreyfuss, Green, and Wiesner buildings. Currently, the Landau building houses the department of chemical engineering; the Dreyfuss building houses the department of chemistry; the Green building houses the department of earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences (EAPS); and the Weisner building houses the Visual Arts Department.
DId you know the Green Building broke Cambridge’s previous building record height by a whopping 215 feet? I bet you didn’t. It holds the record to this day, and, every October there is an epic pumpkin drop off of the building. Almost as cool as the piano drop from Baker House!