Renowned Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei passed away on May 16 at the age of 102. His most representative works include the Grand Louvre Pyramids in Paris, the Bank of China building in Hong Kong, and the Suzhou Museum in Suzhou. He also designed Luce Memorial Chapel on the campus of Tunghai University in Taichung, his only work in Taiwan.
I.M. Pei's face lights up as he speaks about his views on architecture. The world-famous Chinese-American architect passed away in New York on May 16 at the age of 102. His works can be found all over the world, and many are considered to be classics. These include the Grand Louvre Pyramids in Paris and the Bank of China building in Hong Kong. Tunghai University's Luce Memorial Chapel is the only work that Pei designed in Taiwan.
It's a very special building. It's the world's first building to be constructed in this way (with large angled surfaces).
It was just designated as a national monument. Luce Memorial Chapel is the first thing that comes to mind when you mention Tunghai University.
Luce Memorial Chapel was completed in 1963. It was designed by Pei and executed by architect Chen Chi-kuan. It is the only work personally designed by Pei in Taiwan. At that time, the chapel blended into the landscape, and glazed tiles covering the roof made it appear like the bottom of an ark. The building also resembled two hands clasped in prayer. The interior flows freely as a result of the lighting techniques. Scholars say lighting was a very important design technique used by Pei.
All of his works have this special characteristic. Everyone can sense the strong connection between the building, the environment, and nature. It sends the message that buildings are a very important intermediary between people and nature.
Pei was an expert at making good use of light, and his works were also modernist and perfectly balanced between engineering and aesthetics. His 66 works are spread across the globe, and Luce Memorial Chapel in Taiwan is considered to be one of his classic works. Pei was regarded as one of the premier architects in the world, and he influenced many later generations of architects.