Contemporary Architecture

I. M. Pei – Bank Of China Tower

  • Designer :  I. M. Pei
  • Location : Hong Kong
  • Built :  1982-1990

I.M. Pei’s History:

  • Was born in Guangzhou.
  • at 18 years of age joined MIT
  • Disciple of Walter Groupious and Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Latter on started his firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners also known as I.M pie and Partners.

Major Projects of I.M. Pei:


About the building:

  • 369 mts, 72 Floors
  • Extreme repetition and      pure form
  • Structure is used as ornament
  • Use of strong geometrical  and structural expression
  • Structural expressionism adopted in the design of this building resembles growing bamboo shoots.
  • Numerous ‘X’ shapes
  • BOC turns out to be postmoden style because of the Strong geometry
  • Square base divided into 4 equal part
  • Each part in extruded 8 FLOORS

Green features in B.O.C:

  • company and purchasing policies to minimise the impacts of the building on the environment.
  • Aims to replace the existing ozone depletion refrigerant chillers
  • Promotes green practice to the staffs ,contractors etc


  • The facade of the Bank of China Tower is clad in a laminated reflective curtain wall system with single layered clear floating glazing.


  • A central chiller plant provides airconditioning to the building. It consists of 10 air-cooled centrifugal chillers (each with a cooling capacity of 350T) at roof for normal office hours and 2 air-cooled
  • reciprocating chillers (each with a cooling capacity of 100T) for night time operation and are located on the 7th floor.
  • Installation of heat reclaim chiller to preheat incoming water supply for winter space heating

Other features:

  • use infrared sensor water taps, motion sensor urinals and dual flush for ladies water closets to fulfill water conservation.
  • adoption of high frequency ballast for light fittings at office and public areas
  • Minimizing of car parking space

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Contemporary Architecture

I.M.Pei – National Gallery of Art


  • Name: Ieoh Ming Pei
  • Nationality: American
  • Birth date: April 26, 1917 (1917-04-26) (age 92)
  • Birth place: Guangzhou (Canton), China
  • Work Practice name: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Significant buildings:

  • Louvre Pyramid
  • Bank of China Tower
  • Javits Convention Center
  • East Building, National Gallery of Art
  • Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

Awards and prizes:

  • AIA Gold Medal
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Pritzker Prize


  • Although he is remembered for his buildings, I. M. Pei’s greatest influence on the architectural world is his philosophy of design. Just as his designs integrate aesthetics with functionality, Pei himself epitomizes the resolution of both an artist and engineer.
  • He believed that the only issue of contemporary concern was life itself; buildings should be created as living spaces — spaces of activity and thought – rather than static monuments.
  • An unusual dialogue between two very different and very important cultures: east and west.
  • Interplay between geometry and light
  • The relationship between site and building design
  • Due to his reliance on abstract form and materials such as stone, concrete, glass, and steel, Pei has been considered a disciple of Walter Gropius.
  • To the architectural world, Pei legacy is his belief that architecture “is the mirror of life itself.”

National Gallery of Art – PROBLEM

  • The new building had to fit an irregularly shaped, trapezoidal site.
  • Harmonize with John Russell Pope’s classicizing West Building.
  • Two different buildings were required: a museum to house large travelling exhibitions, and also a separate study-center / office facility .


  • The trapezoidal site was sliced into two triangles — one for each function  — with a triangular atrium unifying the whole.
  • In plan, section and elevation, the interlocking volumes merge inseparably.
  • “H”-shaped façade matches the equally severe walls of the West Building.
  • To correspond in texture and color to the original building, the new one is faced inside and out with lavender-pink marble from the same quarry.
  • This structure interlocks complex, shifting triangular shapes. To emphasize these sharp angles, lighter stone was chosen for all the East Building’s vertical corners.
  • The new and old buildings are functionally united into an integrated whole by an underground  tunnel animated by prismatic skylights, and a waterwall.
  • The sky lit atrium at the heart of the East Wing is a hub of circulation and orientation.
  • Organized around it are three flexible towers designed to permit the exhibition of one large or multiple small shows.
  • Adjacent to the public museum is the integral, Study Center, which, housed in a smaller triangle, provides a light-filled reading room and library stacks, as well as offices for scholars, curators and administrators.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Contemporary Architecture

The Louvre Pyramid-I. M. Pie

Paris, a paradise for architectural students. One of those cities in Europe where the medieval and modern styles stand side by side in complete harmony. Since I’m more of a contemporary guy as far as architecture is concerned, one of the buildings that caught my attention or rather the one I really wished to see was the Glass pyramids in front of the Louvre Museum. Luckily my visit to Paris was on the First weekend of the month. Which meant I could see the world-famous Louvre Museum absolutely free of charge!! In front of the Louvre museum stands the famous or rather controversial glass pyramids by the great Chinese architect I.M. Pie. To catch the greatest views of the glass structure you will have to wait till the lights around it are switched on.

It was rather cloudy when I reached there on Saturday but the sun was back on the next day. So the snaps are going to be of mixed lighting. Well before I actually saw the bigger pyramid, I saw the small inverted one in side the shopping mall. Scenes of Da Vinci Code came on as flash back as I stood beside the glass paneled pyramids.

So here is the slide show followed by the description. Once again courtesy Wiki for the info.

If you found The Archi Blog interesting, please like our facebook page

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

General Info:

The Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) is a large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard (Cour Napoleon) of the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) in Paris. The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1989, it has become a landmark of the city of Paris.

Design and Construction:

Commissioned by the President of France François Mitterrand in 1984, it was designed by the architect I. M. Pei, who is responsible for the design of the Miho Museum in Japan among others. The structure, which was constructed entirely with glass segments, reaches a height of 20.6 metres (about 70 feet); its square base has sides of 35 metres (115 ft). It consists of 603 rhombus-shaped and 70 triangular glass segments.[2]

The pyramid structure was engineered by Nicolet Chartrand Knoll Ltd. of Montreal (Pyramid structure / Design Consultant) and Rice Francis Ritchie (also known as RFR) of Paris (Pyramid Structure / Construction Phase).

The pyramid and the underground lobby beneath it were created because of a series of problems with the Louvre’s original main entrance, which could no longer handle an enormous number of visitors on an everyday basis. Visitors entering through the pyramid descend into the spacious lobby then re-ascend into the main Louvre buildings. Several other museums have duplicated this concept, most notably the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The construction work on the pyramid base and underground lobby was carried out by the Vinci construction company.

General Info on the La Pyramide Inversée (The Inverted Pyramid) is a skylight constructed in an underground shopping mall in front of the Louvre Museum in France. It may be thought of as a smaller sibling of the more famous Louvre Pyramid proper, yet turned upside down: its upturned base is easily overlooked from outside.


he pyramid marks the intersection of two main walkways and orients visitors towards the museum entrance. Tensioned against a 30-ton, 13.3-meter square steel caisson frame, the inverted pyramidal shape in laminated glass points downward towards the floor. The tip of the pyramid is suspended 1.4 meters (a little more than 4.5 feet) above floor level. Individual glass panes in the pyramid, 30 mm thick, are connected by stainless-steel crosses 381 mm in length. After dark, the structure is illuminated by a frieze of spotlights.

Directly below the tip of the downwards-pointing glass pyramid, a small stone pyramid (about one meter/three feet high) is stationed on the floor, as if mirroring the larger structure above: The tips of the two pyramids almost touch.

La Pyramide Inversée was designed by architects Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners, and installed as part of the Phase II government renovation of the Louvre Museum. It was completed in 1993. In 1995, it was a finalist in the Benedictus Awards, described by the jury as “a remarkable anti-structure … a symbolic use of technology … a piece of sculpture. It was meant as an object but it is an object to transmit light.”