The Museum of Islamic Art was I.M. Pei’s last major building, completed in 2008 just months before his 92nd birthday. In many ways, it was a summary of the driving forces in his full body of work, including respect for history and context, sculptural geometry, and the paramount importance of light. Precisely detailed using materials of the highest quality, it marshaled innovative technologies in the service of architecture and architecture in the service of man. The monumental building is a cross-cultural product of diplomacy, power, and wealth. It typified the kind of large difficult projects Pei came to attract, and the creation of high-profile icons that his clients came to expect.
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