Distinguished architect who designed the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and One Canada Square in London
Csar Pelli will be remembered as a designer of world-beating skyscrapers, but for him the quality of his projects was more important than their height. The Argentinian-American architect, who has died aged 92, is best known for the towering landmarks he added to the skylines around the world: the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (formerly the worlds tallest building), One Canada Square in London, the World Financial Center in New York, the Torre de Cristal in Madrid, the Gran Torre Santiago in the Chilean capital, the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong, and the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.
Many of those structures are the among the tallest in their respective city or country, but Pelli preferred to judge his own work in more abstract terms: the emotional responses they generated, the clarity and economy of their designs, and their contribution to their cities as visual symbols, as spaces rather than objects. At the opening of One Canada Square, he quoted the Chinese philosopher Laozi: The reality of a hollow object is in the void and not in the walls that define it.
Beyond his skyscrapers Pelli designed a wide range of lower-rise buildings, including the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles and the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan, both of which look like the work of a different designer entirely.
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