Inducted in 2023
César Pelli was born in Tucumán, Argentina, and attended the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. He received his Master of Science in Architecture in 1954 from the Illinois School of Architecture. After his graduation from Illinois, Pelli worked for Eero Saarinen on the TWA terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Morse and Stiles colleges at Yale University. In 1968, he became partner for design at Gruen Associates in Los Angeles, where he designed the landmark first building at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California. In 1977, Pelli was selected to be the dean of the Yale School of Architecture. Shortly after Pelli arrived at Yale, he won the commission to design the expansion and renovation of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which resulted in the establishment of his own firm, Cesar Pelli & Associates. Under that firm, he completed the World Financial Center in New York, which includes the grand public space of the Winter Garden. Pelli went on to design some of the world’s most iconic buildings, most notably the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. These were the world’s tallest buildings until 2004 and earned Pelli the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Pelli was named one of the 10 most influential living American Architects by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1991 and was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 1995.