Former Yale architecture dean
to give Chubb Lecture
Award-winning architect and educator Cesar Pelli will speak on campus on Wednesday, Feb. 20, as a guest of the Chubb
He will present a talk at 4:30 p.m. in the Yale University Art Gallery’s
McNeil Lecture Hall (entrance on High Street). This event is free and open
to the public.
Pelli, a former dean of the Yale School of Architecture, is known for his exploration
of the aesthetic and construction possibilities of building materials, his
attention to detail and his artistic approach to facades. He believes that
buildings should be “responsible citizens” and that the qualities
of a building should grow from the specific characteristics of each project,
including its location and purpose. According to Time magazine, “His
very big buildings are thoughtful, likable, rich in detail, humane.” Newsweek
described his works as “... lyrical, technically sophisticated buildings
that are neither ‘modern’ nor ‘postmodern.’ Each attempts
to please on many levels at once, captivating clients and public.”
A native of Argentina, Pelli held his first post in the offices of Eero Saarinen,
serving as project designer for such buildings as the TWA terminal at John
F. Kennedy Airport in New York and Morse and Stiles colleges at Yale. Following
his apprenticeship, he was director of design at DMJM and, later, partner for
design at Gruen Associates, both in Los Angeles. In those positions he
designed several award-winning projects, including the City Hall in San Bernardino,
California, the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles and the United States
Embassy in Tokyo.
From 1977 to 1984, Pelli was dean of the Yale School of Architecture and concurrently
founded Cesar Pelli & Associates. Since the firm’s establishment,
he has personally originated and directed the design of each of its projects.
His works have included the World Financial Center in Battery Park City in
New York, the Norwest Center in Minneapolis, the Miglin-Beitler Tower in Chicago
and the Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur. He also designed the Daniel L. Malone
Engineering Center, which opened in 2006 on the Yale campus.
Pelli writes extensively on architectural issues. In 1999 he authored
the book, “Observations for Young Architects.” His work has
been widely written about and exhibited, with nine books and several issues
of professional journals dedicated to his designs and theories.
The American Institute of Architects honored Pelli in 1991 as one of the 10
most influential living American architects, and in 1995 awarded him its Gold
Medal, in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished achievement. In 2004
he received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the design of the Petronas
Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
He has received 12 honorary degrees and over 200 awards for design excellence.
He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a member of the
American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy of Design, the International
Academy of Architecture and l’Academie d’Architecture de France.
The Chubb Fellowship is designed to encourage Yale College students to meet
with leaders in the fields of government, culture and public service. Established
in 1936 through the generosity of Hendon Chubb (Yale 1895), the program brings
three or four distinguished women and men to campus every year to give public
lectures and interact informally with students. Recent Chubb Fellows have included
poet Rita Dove and activist-author Gloria Steinem. Previous architects honored
as Chubb Fellows include Tadao Ando and Frank Gehry.
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