In honor of the legendary architect, I.M. Pei, who passed away at the age of 102 on May 16, 2019, Architectural Record asked colleagues and friends from across the profession to reflect on their friendships and experiences with him.
Alex Gorlin worked both as an intern and as a junior architect in Pei's office between 1979 - 1982, and recalls: "He became my role model and inspiration: I observed close up his interaction with projects, clients and employees. [...] The most charming man on earth, I.M. convinced people to do it his way. At a meeting with clients, I saw I.M. deal with a difficult client by simply confounding him with contradictory body language. I.M. would smile and nod his head in agreement, while telling the client that absolutely this was the wrong idea! The client was so discombobulated that he acquiesced to Pei’s spoken point of view. It was simply an astounding performance.