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César Pelli is widely regarded as one of the preeminent architects of the 20th century. Pelli was born in a small town in Argentina and earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture at the National University of Tucamán, Argentina. He moved to the U.S. to complete his master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1952-54). Among his best-known works are the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, the expansion and renovation of the Museum of Modern Art, World Financial Center and Winter Garden in New York City, the Canary Wharf Tower in London, the Carnegie Hall Tower in New York City, and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. 

During the early years of his career, he was able to perfect the use of glass skin technology, producing buildings of lightweight, translucent quality. He served as dean of the Yale School of Architecture from 1977-1984 and established his own practice, César Pelli & Associates (now Pelli Clarke Pelli) in 1977. He became an American citizen in 1964 and was married to Diana Balmori, an American landscape architect who became his partner. His style evolved toward greater sculptural quality in stone-clad buildings. Pelli became known for the lightweight appearance of his buildings and his use of lines of colored stone or metal in his projects. His architectural style is especially evident in a project completed by his firm: Trinity College’s Mathematics, Computing and Engineering Center in Hartford, Connecticut. César Pelli died in his New Haven home on July 19, 2019, leaving behind the Pelli architectural firm which continues to produce innovative architecture in the style of César Pelli. 

César Pelli