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The Glass & Glazing Industry have much to thank I.M. Pei

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The Glass & Glazing Industry have much to thank I.M. Pei

At The grand old age of 102, I.M. Pei, the celebrated architect behind the Louvre pyramid in Paris, has died.

I.M, Pei image https://www.archdaily.com/359079/happy-96th-birthday-i-m-pei

Pei was famous for his high-profile projects including Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ohio, National Gallery of Art Washington DC to name a few. But his most famous commission was for the Louvre Paris which this year celebrates 30 years since the Pyramid’s opening, in 1989. 

The glass and metal structure is surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace. The large pyramid serves at the main entrance to the Louvre museum.

Although now a well-loved landmark, this was not always the case. In fact, when the then president of France, Francois Mitterrand commissioned it in 1984 it was surround with controversy. Could it be seen as a symbol of death from ancient Egypt? Too modern?  Should a French architect design such an important structure? By 2014, attendance to the museum had doubled from its original estimate of 4.5m visitors per year.

Louvre in Paris, credit https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/i-m-pei-and-the-asian-american-experience

Pie was quoted as saying “ if there’s one thing I know I didn’t do wrong’ it’s the Louvre”.

Pyramid Facts:

Reached a height of 21.6 metres

Has a square base of 34 metres

Consists of 673 panes; 603 rhombus shaped and 70 triangular *

*There’s only one way to find out, let’s count them all – 1,2,3 ….

A common mistake made is that the pyramid had exactly 666 panes, associated with Satan. Rumours resurfaced in 2003 when best seller “The Da Vinci Code” incorporated this into the book which became famous for its codes and symbols.

Louvre image credit https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73203/Pyramide-du-Louvre

The glass, glazing and fenestration industry have much to thank innovative architects like IM Pei whose work has done so much to showcase to the rest of the world what magic happens when glass and metals come together in design.

And the last word goes to the man himself

“Architecture is the mirror of life, you only have to cast your eyes on buildings to feel the presence of the past, the spirit of a place, they are the reflection of society”