Top 10 Architects: Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, Tadao Ando, Cesar Pelli and more

Cesar Pelli
Text by Sean Ballent


Argentinean-born architect Cesar Pelli boasts new innovative design strategies that are rich in detail, while maintaining extremely humane elements. His award-winning technique has earned him prestigious accolades throughout his long career, including the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal and a 1991 distinction as one of the 10 most influential living American architects. He began to leave his mark all across the American landscape in 1952 when he immigrated here to study at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From there, he started his career in the New Haven offices of renowned architect Euro Saarinen as project designer for several buildings, including the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport in New York and Stiles and Morse Colleges at Yale University. He was then appointed as director of Design at DMJM and later a partner for design at Gruen Associates. These years yielded many architectural awards, including some for his designs of the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. As the former dean of the Yale University School of Architecture and the author of extensive works in well-respected journals, books, and digests, his list of acknowledgements and awards is as detailed as his projects. His architectural proficiency reached soaring heights in Malaysia in 2004 when he received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his striking Petronas Twin Towers office complex, which looms 1,483 feet over the city. Pelli’s renderings can be admired around the globe and have received international critical acclaim.