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Copyright Richard Payne
Copyright Richard Payne

In the 1980s, Pei designed multiple office buildings on semi-rural sites in Purchase, Somers, and Armonk, New York and in Atlanta, Georgia in an especially fruitful association with Arthur Hedge, head of the IBM Corporation. The latter project, a joint venture of IBM with Cousins Properties, is located in Atlanta’s Buckhead district, a major commercial center in wooded lands adjoining the Chatahoochee River National Forest. Rather than develop the site with a dense concentration of new construction, Pei drew up a master plan for the phased development of five separate building clusters, each to be constructed separately with its own identity in a discrete part of the overall campus, each with its own support facilities, including restaurants, retail, and banking, and organized around a central fountain.

Phase I includes two 15-story towers largely occupied by IBM. Linked by a peaked glass atrium into an integral whole, the two buildings are identical but rotated to presented richly varied facades from every angle. The mass is sculpturally carved away to maximize prime office space (with as many as 12 corner offices per floor) using a complex geometry of overlapping circles, triangles, and squares.

Immersed at the time in major projects like the Louvre, the Bank of China Tower, and Meyerson Symphony Center, all of which demanded a great deal of personal attention, Pei relied heavily on his associate partner, Ralph Heisel, to develop the two Wildwood buildings.


Bird’s-eye view to southeast / Google Earth

Design Team: I.M. Pei, Design Partner; Ralph Heisel, Design Architect
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners