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Architect Who 'Aspired for the Sky' Dies at 92

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 20, 2019 2:29 PM CDT
In this Nov. 27, 2004 file photo, Cesar Pelli, right, an awardee the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, walks with his award alongisde Aga Khan, at the gardens of Emperor Humayuns Tomb in New Delhi, India.   (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
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(Newser) – Architect César Pelli, renowned for designing some of the world's tallest buildings, has died, his firm said. He was 92. Pelli, an Argentine-American whose work ranged from skyscrapers in Malaysia and New York to an arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, died Friday at his home in New Haven, Connecticut, the AP reports. Pelli's cause of death wasn't specified. After growing up in Depression-era Argentina, Pelli rose to the literal heights of the architectural world. At 1,483 feet tall, his Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are among the tallest buildings on the planet. News of his death prompted tributes from people including Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who tweeted that "the works he leaves throughout the world as a legacy are a pride for Argentines."

Born into a humble background in a northern Argentine city, he got into architecture after realizing it involved "all things that I like, drawing, history, design, art." A graduate-student scholarship to the University of Illinois brought him to the United States in 1952. During his career, Pelli became known for soaring skyscrapers and his use of glass, among other things. Architecture "has a deep responsibility in everything that has to do with human beings, their history, their geography and their feelings," he once said. Pelli's buildings include Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, Los Angeles' colorful Pacific Design Center, and Brookfield Place, a downtown Manhattan skyscraper complex. "One aspires for the sky, and I understand that," he said. "It is so powerful."

(Read more obituary stories.)

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