One step away from the sky

One step away from the sky

The world of architecture says goodbye to a big one: César Pelli, the Argentine expert in skyscrapers who decorated the highest point of the landscape, while showing his most humble face by signing anonymously every one of his works.

At 92 years of age, this eminence of architecture says goodbye; he was awarded with multiple acknowledgments, like the golden medal from the American Institute of Architecture (1995), the Life and Work Award given by the Obras Comex Award (2006), and the Konex Brillante Award, given to him by de Konex Foundation to the most important figure of the decade within Argentina’s visual arts (2012).Torre Cristal, Madrid, Spain

His career goes from the decade he worked under the tutelage of Finnish Fero Saarinen (author of the TWA Terminal in the Kennedy Airport, New York), the foundation of his own firm by the hand of Fred Clarke, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and he carried out one of his first projects solo, the first expansion of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (1977), to his teaching at the School of Architecture in Yale University (1977-1984).

Pelli worked under a model, which was criticized by some people due to its “lack of ambition”, the focus was set on the work, not on the architect or the client; also, he strictly complied with the budget and the delivery date, one of the factors that propelled his career. The functionality and effectiveness of his work placed him on the map as one of the best architects of his time.

The Salesforce Tower, San Francisco, United States. Photo: Jason O’Rear

The architect has been recognized for many of his works, among which the ones that have stood out most are:

  • The first expansion of MoMa, New York - 1977
  • Brookfield Place, New York - 1988
  • One Canada Square in Canary Wharf, London - 1991
  • Petrona Towers, Kuala Lumpur - 1998
  • Goldman Sachs, New Jersey - 2004
  • Crystal Tower, Madrid - 2009
  • The Salesforce Tower, San Francisco - 2018
  • La Nube, Monterrey - expected for 2020