Not all of Pei's most notable work still stands, and some of his grandest designs stayed on the page.
"Contemporary architects tend to impose modernity on something". Two of his last major projects, the Museum of Islamic Art, located on an artificial island just off the waterfront in Doha, Qatar, and the Macau Science Center, in China, opened in 2008 and 2009.
Pei's first professional design was built in Atlanta in 1949. He founded his own firm in 1955. "I was confident because this was the right time".
Pei was born on April 26, 1917, in Guangzhou, China, as Ieoh Ming Pei.
Pei always referred to himself as an American architect, but he never forgot that he was also Chinese. He said that when you ask visitors why they are at the Louvre, they generally give three answers: for the Mona Lisa, for the Venus de Milo and for the Pyramid.
Pei was the 1983 recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, with judges saying he had "given this century some of its most handsome interior spaces and exterior forms".
Pei also designed the West Wing addition to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Pei said of the project: "All through the centuries, the Louvre has undergone violent change".
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In the 1981, Pei's design of the Louvre's pyramid courtyard opened to the public.
Not all Pei's buildings were successful - the Hancock Tower in Boston, commissioned by John Hancock Insurance to overshadow the building of competitor Prudential, became the tallest building in New England when completed in 1976 but began shedding glass panels before it was even complete, forcing the builders to replace the entire facade.
A flurry of lawsuits followed among the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., the glass manufacturer, and Pei's firm. He was also fêted with the American Institute of Architects' Gold Medal and the Royal Institute of British Architects' Royal Gold Medal, among other accolades.
Born in China in 1917, banker's son Ieoh Ming Pei came to the USA at 17 to study architecture, receiving an undergraduate degree in the field from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1940 and then receiving a master's degree in architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design in 1946.
However, he continued to work on projects - including museums in Luxembourg, Qatar and his ancestral home of Suzhou.
The desert-toned building, inspired by the 13th-century Mosque of Ahmad ibn Tulun in Cairo, incorporates geometric patterns and is lit by reflected light entering from above.
Suzhou Museum in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, east China. His forms were recognizably derived from such great architects as Le Corbusier and Louis I. Kahn, though he filtered them through a unique artistic sensibility.
While at MIT, Pei volunteered for the National Defense Research Committee where he worked fusing bombs during World War II. Among the firm's accomplishments are the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.