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I.M. PEI:  ARCHITECT OF TIME, PLACE, AND PURPOSE by Jill Rubalcaba Kirkus Star


by Jill Rubalcaba

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5973-6
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

This lively blend of narrative and detailed design is a perfect way to introduce the architectural vision of I.M. Pei to young readers.

This striking biography demonstrates how I.M. (Ieoh Ming) Pei melded the influences of his native China with the modernity of his adopted American home to create a unique, influential architectural vision. Pei’s family fled turbulent times on the mainland to Hong Kong, where his father became a successful banker. However, it was his artistic and spiritual mother who had the greater influence, despite her death in his early teens. After MIT, his plan to return to China was thwarted by war. Pei’s talent led to work on the JFK Presidential Library and the renovation of the Louvre Museum in Paris, among others. His projects were not without controversy, but eventually his artistic genius prevailed, changing the way modern architecture is viewed and appreciated. Rubalcaba, an honor recipient of the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Every Bone Tells a Story (2010), has crafted an elegant work that combines sparkling text with graceful design. Carefully chosen photographs both support and add to the narrative, as do project sketches and floor plans. The layout is eye catching yet sophisticated, but the book is nevertheless entirely readable and accessible to young readers.

An exquisite package, much like one of Pei’s buildings.  

(timeline, bibliography, source notes, index, suggestions for further reading, listings of building projects, awards) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)