Cesar Pelli: Connections

by | 19. Feb 2013

Exhibitions and Events

The exhibition, Cesar Pelli: Connections, is the most comprehensive exhibition on this architect’s work to date.

Cesar Pelli, FAIA, has received nine Honorary Degrees and more than 100 awards for design excellence, including The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1995 Gold Medal for recognition of a lifetime of distinguished achievements. The show presents Pelli’s half-century career through photographs, photo murals, over 100 drawings, 20 foot tall hangings, and thirty original models, thoroughly illuminating his contributions to modern architecture.

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Photo: Marvin Rand
Pacific Design Center 1971-1988
Cesar Pelli with Gruen Associates.
West Hollywood, California

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Photo: Paul Hester
Herring Hall 1984
Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Administration
Rice University, Houston, Texas

Beginning with his earliest work as a designer in the offices of Eero Saarinen; Daniel, Mann, Johnson, and Mendenhall; and Victor Gruen Associates and concluding with his most recent commission – the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin – this exhibition presents Cesar Pelli’s work both thematically and chronologically. Each section highlights a different aspect of his projects: The first focuses on Pelli’s exploration of structural frames and taut building enclosures. The second studies his use of vibrant colors and patterns. The third examines how he celebrates the diverse cultural and physical contexts of his buildings by incorporating these elements in his designs. The final section offers a glimpse into Pelli’s strategy for transforming an ensemble of existing buildings and new structures into a harmonious whole.

Drawing on a career that spans a half-century, Cesar Pelli continues to expand the boundaries of modern architecture with his colorful, richly crafted, and structurally expressive buildings. In collaboration with his partners and associates, Pelli has designed numerous buildings that powerfully connect to their contexts through references to local culture.

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Photo: Jeff Goldberg/Esto
Petronas Towers 1997
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,

Architect of the Petronas Towers – the world’s tallest buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Cesar Pelli designed these twin star-shaped skyscrapers to reflect Malaysia’s Islamic heritage. This project and others, including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., and the World Financial Center in New York City, demonstrate that large and complex structures can both maintain and enliven the cultural character of our built environment.

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Photo: Jeff Goldberg/Esto
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport 1997
Washington, D.C.

First presented as Cesar Pelli: Building Designs 1965-2000 at Yale University’s School of Architecture, Cesar Pelli: Connections expands the content of the original exhibition. The exhibition is organized by guest curators, Eric Jenkins, associate dean of undergraduate studies at Catholic University, and Terrance Williams, FAIA, associate dean of graduate studies at Catholic University. Curator for theNational Building Museum is David Gissen, associate curator of architecture and design.

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TWA Terminal 1956-62
John F. Kennedy International Airport
While a designer in Eero Saarinen’s office


CITY Washington, DC