Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
2008 Lynn S. Beedle Award Winner
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Cesar Pelli  

Cesar Pelli
Pelli Clarke Pelli
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Cesar Pelli was born in Argentina where he earned a Diploma in Architecture from the University of Tucumán.  His history of designing tall buildings dates to 1977, when he became Dean of the Yale School of Architecture and founded Cesar Pelli & Associates (now Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects). The firm’s first highrise project was an expansion of the Museum of Modern Art, an undertaking that included the addition of a 65-story residential tower—his tallest building up to that point (see page 100).

Over the years, he has designed some of the world’s best known tall buildings. They include the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur—the world’s tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004—as well as Two International Finance Center in Hong Kong, One Canada Square at Canary Wharf, London, and the tower headquarters of the Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina. Additional towers include the Bloomberg Tower in New York City, Torre de Cristal in Madrid, Grand Torre Costanera in Santiago and Transbay Transit Center and Tower in San Francisco.

His tall buildings, like all of his projects, do not belong to a single style. Mr. Pelli believes that buildings should be responsible citizens and that each design is shaped by its context. As he has explained, “A building must be both background and foreground. As foreground, it must have some exceptional qualities. But it must also try very hard to knit into the fabric of the city.”


MOMA Residential Tower Petronas Towers Two International Finance Center
MOMA Residential Tower
New York, NY, 1984
Petronas Towers
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1998
Two International Finance Center
Hong Kong, 2003

For more information on Cesar Pelli and his work please visit his company website.