Petronas Towers architect Cesar Pelli dies

Posted July 22, 2019

Cesar Pelli, the Argentine architect and creator of Malaysia's Petronas Towers and New York's One World Financial Center, died Friday at the age of 92, his family said.

The former dean of the Yale School of Architecture left his mark in numerous world's most important cities including Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; Seville, Spain; Doha, Qatar; Osaka, Japan; in Hong Kong and in China's Beijing, Chengdu and Wuhan.

His most high-profile achievement was the Petronas Towers in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur - a 452-metre high structure that was the world's tallest building when it was completed in 1998.

BUENOS AIRES, July 20 ― César Pelli, the Argentine designer behind the iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, has died aged 92, state media and officials said yesterday, marking the passing of one of the contemporary architectural greats.

Leading the tributes was Argentina's President Mauricio Macri, who tweeted that Pelli's legacy was "a pride for all Argentines". Quiero hacer llegar mis condolencias a toda su familia, sus amigos y a su equipo de trabajo.

His other works include Hong Kong's International Finance Center complex; several skyscrapers in London's Canary Wharf business district; and the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles.

Architects, he wrote, "must produce what is needed of us".

Among his honors was his election in 1982 to be an American Academy of Arts and Letters member, and being awarded the prestigious Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects in 1995. The glittering 88-floor, glass-facade structures were created to evoke motifs from Islamic art.

"Thank you for your wonderful contribution to our nation!"

Pelli then spent a decade in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, as an apprentice to famed architect Eero Saarinen, who designed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and the TWA terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, a historic landmark.

Pelli and his wife Diana had two children: Denis Pelli, a professor of psychology and neural science at New York University, and Rafael, who runs the firm's New York office.