Friday, 17 May 2019


Though probably best known for the once abhorred but now treasured glass-and-steel pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre, master modernist architect Ieoh Ming Pei’s (RIP, *1917 – †2019) first major commission in 1961—construction completed by 1967—a flagship laboratory for the US National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, also deserves appreciation.
The Mesa Labs and headquarters building, the cubist structure suggestive of exhaust vents or ship funnels, remarkably continues to serve its original function all these decades later, conducting crucial studies climate change and modelling, and earned I.M. Pei the industry recognition that would lead him to other projects, including the Dallas City Hall, bank buildings, libraries and galleries around the world.