Segments in this Video

First Person Singular: I.M. Pei: Introduction (03:54)


I.M. Pei likes signing autographs and hearing feedback from visitors. The architect explains that he enjoys making constant variations upon a single theme.

Louvre Museum: Phase I (06:59)

The French Government invited Pei to France to undertake the remodel in 1983. The design included urban planning, classical architecture, engineering, and modern themes. Pei describes how he came to the conclusion that the center of gravity should include an entrance.

Pei: Childhood (05:42)

Pei prefers not to label different types of architecture. The architect was born in Guangzhou and drew inspiration from his family garden. After his mother died, he moved to Shanghai with his father.

Pei: Education (06:29)

Pei decided to enroll at the University of Pennsylvania, but left before classes began. The dean at Massachusetts Institute of Technology advocated he leave and become and architect. Walter Gropius led the Bauhaus style.

Influence of Geometry (03:10)

Lei wanted to create a transparent pyramid so the palace of the Louvre would retain its importance. Inspired by the American Cup sailing boats, the architect used high tension cables to support the pyramid.

Bank of China Building (04:32)

Upon completion, Pei's tower stood the tallest building in Asia. Wind in Hong Kong blows twice as hard as New York. His design required much less steel and columns.

Webb and Knapp Years (05:43)

Pei could not return to China after the communist revolution occurred and became an American citizen. William Zeckendorf hired the architect to design buildings.

NCAR (04:09)

Walter Orr Roberts hired Pei to design the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Loo is Pei's best critic and helper.

Tower of Angels (02:19)

Pei designs a bell tower for a religious movement called Shinji Shumeikai. Bachi inspired the design.

Miho Museum (08:57)

Pei is designing a museum to house the artwork of Kaishu Koyama. The architect discusses his inspiration of peach blossom valley and visits the site. Most of the museum will be located underground.

Kennedy Library (03:31)

Pei competed to design the Kennedy Library in front of his family. William Walton called the architect to inform he was selected. Problems plagued the project from the outset.

Damage to Pei and Associates' Reputation (02:10)

Henry Cobb designed the John Hancock tower in Boston. Critics emerged after the windows fractured in winds.

National Gallery East Building (08:20)

Pei divided the plot of land into two separate triangles and wanted to compliment the 19th century design of the west building. The architect discusses several elements of the design.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (04:29)

Pei's architecture defined the design of public places. The architect and investors meet with the press during the grand opening in Cleveland, Ohio.

Meyerson Symphony Center (06:40)

Pei describes how each building and country culture is unique. The city of Dallas asked the architect to design a concert hall. A space moves with an infinite amount of vanishing points.

Conclusion—First Person Singular: I.M. Pei (07:15)

The designer advocates visiting architectural sites and traveling instead of reading about architecture. Sources need to be rooted in the past to design for the future. Six million people tour the Louvre annually because of its urban planning features and beauty.

Credits— First Person Singular: I.M. Pei (01:07)

Credits— First Person Singular: I.M. Pei

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First Person Singular: I.M. Pei

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This program profiles the man responsible for some of the most triumphant architecture of the 20th century: architect I.M. Pei. He discusses the triumphs (and failures) of his career, and the primary artistic and intellectual influences reflected in the sweeping simplicity of his designs, from the Kennedy Presidential Library to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Pei also talks about his more recent projects, as viewers follow him from the sites of some of his most famous works, including one of his most impressive: the 1983 renovation of the Louvre, a project not without its political and architectural controversies. The program sheds light on how Pei has incorporated his admiration of art and his love of people into his own architectural style, thereby meeting the challenge of uniting form with both function and structure.

Length: 86 minutes

Item#: BVL151072

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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