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AIA UK Remembers Cesar Pelli / 1926 -2019

Fiona Mckay

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In 1991, the AIA named Cesar Pelli one of the ten most influential living architects, and his stature has grown further in the intervening decades.  While the world’s press exalts in his manifold legacy, AIA UK recalls his brief but memorable encounter with our Chapter.   

Chapter Director M J Long, AIA RIBA – a student of Pelli’s from Yale University – saw the opportunity of the newly completed Canary Wharf Winter Garden and invited him to speak at the 2003 Keynote Lecture.  He accepted her invitation with remarkable alacrity.  

The lecture (organised with Lester Korzilius, AIA RIBA) was - as expected - a stunning success.  At the post lecture dinner, his relaxed attitude and approachability impressed further. To our delight, he punctuated divers architectural anecdotes with impromptu sketches, leaving us with one that captured the essence of his Petronas Towers in 5 easy seconds. 

Sketch Credit: C Pelli, AIA / Photo Credit: Bilbao Turismo

Sketch Credit: C Pelli, AIA / Photo Credit: Bilbao Turismo

Those who attended the evening remember it vividly, and the UK Chapter honours this memory along with his international legacy.

Read the full 2004 Newsletter – a relic from a pre-digital past – HERE.

Written by: Lorraine King, AIA

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