Book of the Week

Book List of the Week: Cesar Pelli

“A Most Exciting Vision for Architecture”

By Steve Kroeter July 22, 2019
Cesar Pelli, Architect, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (New Haven, CT)
View Cesar Pelli’s Book List

Recognized for a lifetime of distinguished achievement in architecture—and the recipient of more than 200 awards and prizes for his contributions to the field—Cesar Pelli (d. July 19, 2019) designed some of the contemporary world’s most famous buildings. Among them are the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1997), the globe’s tallest buildings until 2004; the World Financial Center, now Brookfield Place (1981–88) in New York; and the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles (1975, 2013).

Pelli, who was born and educated in Argentina, worked in the offices of Eero Saarinen on several key projects, including the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport, and later with Gruen Associates, before founding his own practice (Cesar Pelli & Associates, now Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects) in 1977. That same year he became Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture (a post he held through 1984). With his former wife, the landscape architect Diana Balmori, he collaborated on numerous projects for 70 years.

Pacific Design Center, Phase 1 (the “Blue Whale”), Los Angeles, by Cesar Pelli, 1975. Photo: Gary Minnaert

The list of books that inspired Cesar Pelli, which he graciously shared with Designers & Books, reflects the modernist thinking that grounded his work. His 1999 book, Observations for Young Architects, an “architectural autobiography,” distills the wisdom and experience gained from many years as a practitioner and an educator.

View the List of Books That Inspired Cesar Pelli.

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