Ieoh Ming Pei,

2001, Ieoh Ming Pei built the PB6 Tower.

It changed La Défense’s landscape, just as the Pyramid changed the Louvre’s, another one of his masterpieces.

The tower’s apparent simplicity is a pure architectural achievement: with a summit larger than its base, the main entrance is capped with a 24-meter circular metal canopy, the center of which is positioned in the Grande Arche’s exact axis.

2022, BSTLL architects successfully takes on the challenge of modifying the tower’s interior design and scenography to give it a spectacular and new configuration, enduring the LEGENDE.
A leading figure of 20th-century architecture, the Chinese American Ieoh Ming Pei has left a prolific body of work all over the world, signing over 200 projects, including 40 major achievements, between 1955 and 2009.

Passionate about architecture and Hollywood movies, he left his native China at the age of 17 to study architecture in the United States, in Pennsylvania and then at MIT, from which he graduated in 1940.

Soon after the Second World War, Ieoh Ming Pei taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design and participated in the Bauhaus movement. Jackie Kennedy retained Ieoh Ming Pei to design the JF Kennedy Library and Memorial, and in France, François Mitterrand commissioned him to design the Louvre Pyramid, his world-famous masterpiece.

His long and brilliant career was celebrated by many awards, including the Pritzker Prize in 1983, considered as the Nobel Prize of architecture.

Ieoh Ming Pei started wearing round glasses from a very young age, a legacy from Le Corbusier

Pyramide du Louvre

With its 603 diamonds and 70 glass and metal triangles, the Pyramid ushers the Louvre’s Napoléon courtyard into the modern era.

tour pb6

With its almond-shaped indentation that extends over the first 26 floors and its cylindrical metal canopy, the tower transfigures the Parvis.


The Pritzker Prize winner - the equivalent of the Nobel Prize of architecture, made a name for himself with his daring projects, a subtly blending international style with pure geometric lines to which he added touches of his personal influence.

Ieoh Ming Pei’s body of work is spread all over the world, in the United States and in Europe (Paris, Berlin, Luxembourg), but also in China, Japan and the Middle East.

Bank of China, Hong Kong, 1989

“Let’s do it right.
This is for the ages.”

Ieoh Ming Pei

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, 1979

Pei had a very museum-focused career. Paris, Washington, Doha or Berlin boast flagship museums that respect both the local culture and the objects on display. “My great challenge in modern museums was a matter of scale.”

The construction of the Des Moines Art Center in 1968 heralded a long series of achievements dedicated to art with, in the year 1979, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, and among others, the Boston John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Pei also designed the Suzhou Museum, China, in 2006, and the Doha Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar, in 2008.

Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, 2008.


Ieoh Ming Pei is familiar with La Défense. In 1969, the architect was solicited for a private project: a 70- to 80-floor tower that he envisioned at the heart of the historical axis.
This 200 meters high V-shaped building was to be called Le Diapason (The Tuning Fork).
Although this project never materialized, it inspired “Tête Défense”, the project that led to the current Grande Arche.
A quarter of a century later, Ieoh Ming Pei returned La Défense to design the PB6 tower...


For the Louvre Pyramid, Pei used “soft” pink concrete, cast in Oregon pine, that left its imprint. He meticulously supervised its composition and pouring, and called it “the most beautiful concrete in the world”.

I.M. Pei had a flair for the grandiose and a sense of proportion and perspective. His works reveal a taste for powerful geometric volumes and a sense of purity… with the triangle as a frequently recurring shape.

In 1978, in Dallas, he constructed his first inverted pyramid for the city hall, inspired by Le Corbusier. A style that he renewed in Paris, with a pharaonic glass construction in the Napoleon courtyard of the Louvre Museum.


Pei designed over 200 projects, 40 of which are outstanding. They include towers, banks, hotels, headquarters of large companies, and public buildings that reveal an art that he wanted pragmatic, focused on actual needs.

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, USA, 1975
Mesa Laboratory, Boulder, USA, 1967


Ieoh Ming Pei has always taken into account the environment in which his buildings were built. This approach has contributed to making him the world’s most award-winning architect.

Ieoh Ming Pei has notably received:

  • the AIA Gold Medal (1979),
  • the Praemium Imperiale (1989),
  • the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1992),
  • the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (2010).

He received the Pritzker Prize in 1983, called the “Nobel Prize of Architecture”, which he used to fund a scholarship for Chinese students studying architecture in the United States.


urban legende

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