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Cesar Pelli, Creator of the Petronas Towers


Architect Cesar Pelli

Architect Cesar Pelli has designed some of the world's tallest buildings, including the Petronas Towers in Malaysia

Photo © 2007 Kim Knox Beckius
Cesar Pelli is often praised for using a wide variety of materials and designs, seeking new solutions for each location. Believing that buildings should be "responsible citizens," Cesar Pelli strives to design buildings that work within the surrounding city.


October 12, 1926 in Tucuman, Argentina. Cesar Pelli immigrated to the United States in 1952 and later became a U.S. citizen.


  • Diploma in Architecture, University of Tucuman, Argentina
  • Master in Architecture, University of Illinois, USA
Cesar Pelli taught for many years and served as Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture from 1977 to 1984.

Famous Skyscrapers and Towers:

Museums and Theaters:

Other Important Works:


Cesar Pelli has received more than 100 architecture awards. Some highlights:
  • 1995: AIA (American Institute of Architects) Gold Medal, which recognizes a lifetime of distinguished achievement and outstanding contributions.
  • 2004: The Aga Khan Award for the design of the Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Observations for Young Architects, Monacelli Press
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"... a building must be both background and foreground. As foreground, it must have some exceptional qualities. But it must also try very hard to knit into the fabric..."

Web Site:

About Cesar Pelli:

Cesar Pelli has become known as a master designer of public spaces such as the Commons of Columbus (1970-1973) in Columbus, Indiana, the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center (1980-1989) in New York, and Founders Hall (1987-1992) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Some critics say that Pelli's public rooms contribute to modern-day life in the same way the Italian piazza shaped life in the 16th century.

After completing his Master's degree in architecture, Pelli spent ten years working in the offices of Eero Saarinen. He served as Project Designer for the TWA Terminal Building at JFK Airport in New York and Morse and Stiles Colleges at Yale University. He later became Director of Design at Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall in Los Angeles, and from 1968 to 1976 he was Partner for Design at Gruen Associates in Los Angeles. While at Gruen, Pelli is known to have collaborated with Norma Merrick Sklarek on a number of works, including the US Embassy in Tokyo. Cesar Pelli & Associates was founded in 1977.

In 1997, Pelli's design for the Petronas Towers was erected in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Petronas Towers are among the tallest buildings in the world.

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