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  • ✪ Rethinking Pei: A Centenary Symposium, Panel 3: Power, Capital, and People
  • ✪ DUBLINERS by James Joyce - FULL Audio Book | Greatest Audio Books
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Good afternoon. I'm Seng Kuan. Before I introduce the panel and the panelists, as the moderator of the last panel of a very full day of paper presentations and panel discussions, I want to take this opportunity to make a couple of personal remarks. It's been a real privilege for me and indeed, extremely warm embrace by the GSD and Mohsen to be charged with the organization of the symposium, working together with Melanie Park, Ken Stewart and his team, and our counterparts in Hong Kong, [? eric ?] [? chen, ?] Shirley Surya, and Cole Roskam. Thank you. I think you'll all agree with me that over the course of the last 20 hours or so, our long-held belief, which has been reiterated numerous times over the course of today, that Pei has somehow been under-theorized and under-appreciated by the architectural academy no longer holds true. I cannot think of many other architects past or present who can rally such an extraordinary group of scholars and practitioners to provide such an strong body of scholarship on the career of a single architect, such tremendous breadth and depth. In all the key issues of 20th century architecture, whether it's technology, urban design, housing, relationship with art, patronage, society, Pei stands front and center on all of these issues. We'll have a second iteration of this exercise, further expanding upon what we have begun here yesterday and today two months later in Hong Kong. I invite all of you to join us again either in person at the University of Hong Kong, or via the webcast. The title of this third panel of papers and presentations today is Power, Capital, and People. It's focusing on the sociological aspects of architectural production, and trying to better understand Pei's personal success and his impact on our cities and our cultures. We've been addressing these issues in different ways over the course of the symposium, kicked off by the wonderful panel on the formation of the modern practice, convened by Grace La yesterday evening. I want to perhaps frame this question as through the foil of a Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange, who was brought up earlier at the last panel. And in fact, it was on Tange on which my main research is focused on. So Tange was really just a few years older than Pei. I think Tange was born in 1913, so four years older than Pei. And of course both Pei and Tange managed to become great masters of modern design while achieving great commercial success, as the anecdotes Bill Pedersen shared with us yesterday at the panel discussion No Compromise. How did they do that? From recent scholarship on Tange and the Metabolists, we know how intertwined the architectural community in Japan was with the academy. Tange taught at the University of Tokyo, and his graduates-- some of them rose, of course, to become great architects, practitioners. But many of them, in fact, entered the officialdom of vast bureaucracy of construction in Japan. One of Tange's doctoral students, Shimokobe [? jun, ?] rose to become the deputy minister of land, and in charge of all planning decisions in Japan in the 1970s. The state and the architectural profession were, in fact, working hand in hand. Arguably, we can find analogies to this in France, in China, and in Singapore, where of course Tange and Pei came into direct competition against each other. We'll hear about this in the papers by Andre Bideau, Cole Roskam, and the tag team presentation involving Shirley Surya and Kellogg Wong. But in Ed Eigen's paper, the first one on this panel, we'll hear about a very different situation, when Pei's work as an architect became an act of nation building of the highest order. So Ed Eigen is an historian and scholar whose work focuses on the intersections of the human and natural sciences with the built environment in the [? long ?] 19th century. A selection of his essays, On Accident - Episodes In Architecture and Landscape is forthcoming from MIT Press. His current research examines the landscapes of the modern American presidency including studies of the grassy knoll and Watergate. And Ed also wanted me to mention, in fact, that he was in fact a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the visual arts casbah, which of course, is one of the institutions housed in the east wing building by IM Pei. So, Ed. [applause] Thank you, Seng, for your kind invitation, and for the opportunity to be speaking with you this afternoon. I have a slide which I wish to serve as a proem to what follows. So just please follow along. It's a brief film clip. In the words of Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved, and that have special meaning for me now. "I am a part of all that I have met. Too much is taken, much abides. That which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts, strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." For me, a few hours ago this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die. It is by no means to diminish the accomplishment of IM Pei's design for the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum to suggest that the most interesting thing about it, to paraphrase Edward M. Kennedy, is that this building campaign came to an end. The words were from his supreme but far from valedictory oratorical performance, The Dream Shall Never Die speech at the Democratic National Convention, August 12, 1980. Kennedy, a self-described realist committed to the ideals of his party, had conceded the nomination to incumbent President Jimmy Carter at a hastily arranged announcement around 10:00 PM the night before. Waged in defiance of a presumed state of paralysis inducing a sentiment of national malaise, Kennedy had returned to Faneuil Hall, the site of his brother's final election eve rally, Nov. 7, 1960, to launch his own candidacy November 17, 1979. Two weeks earlier, October 20, 1979, the Massachusetts senator had shared the ceremonial stage when Carter presided at the dedication of the Kennedy Museum. Like a great cathedral, Carter said, this building was a long time coming, but it more than justifies the wait. Planning for the library had begun 18 years earlier, depending on how or rather where you set the clock. The selection of Pei as architected December 14, 1964, after a widely publicized semi-transparent process guided by Jacqueline Kennedy, was but one moment of imperfectly sustained impetus during the long campaign. And now there was the CBS News bulletin, 1:48 PM, November 22, 1963, interrupting the soap opera As the World Turns, in which Walter Cronkite announced that in Dallas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade. Nota bene-- as in scripture. And what else is a presidential library and museum if not a source and repository of its profane equivalent? There is no before and after in all of this. Carter ended his remarks with seemingly measured indifference to the Kennedy family's well-known poetic sensibilities with a passage from James Agee's first and only book of poems, Permit Me Voyage. "Before we go on, do be assured that the purpose of what follows is not merely to mark more or less significant dates and times of day, but rather to take up more generally with the voyage, and the wait, and the intended question of when and how they become, like ostensibly finished designs, justifiable objects of study." To be clear from the outset, this paper is about achieving a sense of an ending. To borrow the title of literary critic Frank Kermode's enduringly revelatory book, [? on ?] the Varieties Of Time, Chronos, or Clock Time and Kairos, the Ripeness of Things, and the necessary fiction of closure in poetry and in prose, if not also in life, as we endeavor to live it. A line crossed out in the manuscript of Alfred Lord Tennyson's Ulysses-- about which more in a moment-- rather complicates this prospect like a wrinkle in rhyme. He writes-- or unwrote-- "as though to live for all the end of life." The long open-ended case history of the Kennedy Library presents an opportunity to consider the biography of a design. By virtue of its Greek etymology, design speaks of incompleteness, indefiniteness, of imperfection. But on balance, albeit an unsteady balance, also about expectation and anticipation. It expresses, according to one student of its wiles, the strive to capture the elusive. In its infinitive construction, to strive was central to the poetic idiom of the Kennedy family campaigns, with its culminating echo in The Dream Shall Never Die speech. As for the library's finished form, about which, through this long process of design it might be said, per Tennyson, though much is taken, much abides, it is an elemental composition of three simple shapes, a circle, square, and triangle. In the words of one perceptive critic, it is quote, "as much a symbol of the architecture pure Euclidean geometry as of the power and responsibility of the man to whom it was dedicated." Yet seeing as in the history of geometry, founded and foundering on architectural legends, the mere appearance of Euclidean forms was a source of solace and hope, graphically signaling the possibility of homecoming. In conclusion, we will examine why the truncated pyramid originally intended for Kennedy, despite having been changed into a faceted cube, was itself a symbol of the indefiniteness that is our organizing theme. That is to say, how design pendulating between the real and the ideal, verb and substantive, marks the time of its own making, the tick-tock. For now we will largely dispense with the chronological elements, the chronicle-like, and for that [? non-chromodian ?] tick-tock. For though the process of selecting an architect produced a moderate degree of intrigue and suspense, with Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Louis Kahn, Kenzo Tange, Franco Albini, Pei inter alia gathered for the mock election in the Robert Adams-style banquet room at the Boston Ritz Carlton Hotel, with various members of the family, Jackie, Bobby et ceter entering and exiting at will. The transcribed proceedings had all the elements of a chamber play, with about as much room, or rather as little, for invention. The more compelling question, the very substance of the narrative, resides with the infinitive nature of the project itself. So let us take for comparison the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial, the nearly complete plans for which Louis Kahn had worked out soon before his unintended death from a sudden heart attack in New York's Pennsylvania Station, March 17, 1974. And not to make light of it, but I've often speculated whether the site of the new Pennsylvania Station might have caused his death. [laughter] [inaudible] The memorial, located on the southern point of the formerly named Welfare Island, hard by Renwick's romantically ruined smallpox hospital, and bisecting the strong currents of the East River, was dedicated October 17, 2012. That timeline makes the Kennedy Library seem punctual. In a lecture at Pratt Institute in 1973, Kahn articulated his inaugurating thought that the memorial should be a garden in a room. He adds, as if for clarification, that's all I had. So you ask why these elements? Kahn says, I chose it as my point of departure. We all need to begin somewhere with something or another. It probably matters less than we imagine it does, and always in media res. The critic Michael Kimmelman speculates, not altogether unconvincingly, that for this room Kahn might have had in mind Philip Johnson's memorial to John F. Kennedy in Dallas, dedicated in 1970. The minimalist cenotaph, or empty tomb, was open to the sky, but in Johnson's words, created quote, "an enclosed place of thought and contemplation. The conjunction of opening and closure less forced than it is compelling. Infinitive in the primitive spatial and territorial sense of finis, a line or object marking a border or boundary." As it happens, Johnson, Kahn, and Pei were all amongst the six names presented to the Kennedy family after the Ritz Carlton meeting. The following day, the assembled architects were flown down for a luncheon at the famous Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port. The so-called price of their ticket, according to the architecture committee chairman, William Walton-- whose name we've heard several times already today-- being a list indicating who they thought should be considered for the project. Responding to reporters' questions at the December 13th, 1964 news conference announcing his selection held at the Pierre Hotel, which in 1968 would serve as the transition headquarters for President-elect Richard Nixon, whom JFK defeated in 1960. At that time, Pei indicated, quote, "there is no design for the library and institute yet, because the program has to be formulated first." So here there seems to be an order of things. Harvard president Nathan M. Pusey was on hand to discuss the evolution of the so-called big plan, which would bring together on one site and potentially in a single structure the Kennedy Library and Museum, the Graduate School of Public Administration, and an Institute of Politics, what Pusey called a quote, "new kind of institution in American life which no one can describe before it gets started." To veer, of course, into Shakespeare for a moment, it was as if in this instance, it was the architect rather than the poet who was called on to give a lofty idea "a local habitation and a name." But with nothing on paper, it was becoming clear that the physical and perhaps also the conceptual dimensions of the big plan would exceed the two-acre plot next to the Harvard Business School selected by President Kennedy himself in 1963. And there was already talked of moving the project across the river to the site of the MBTA rail yards on Bennett Street, where the Kennedy School now is. With knowing understatement, Ada Louise Huxtable reported that these changes made the architect's assignment a quote, "nebulous one at present." It would require something approaching a meteorology of the architectural project. It's root term, iacio, to project to throw forth, already embodying the disorderly cast of meteors. To properly interrogate this statement, "nebulous one at present." But let us put an end to talk of word origins. The question is whether such a nebulous state of means and intentions was or ever is likely to consolidate into institutional form. Asked for a comment at the presser, William Walton adopted an expected attitude. From now on, he said, we will just wait and see what Pei does. In a 2003 oral history conducted by the Kennedy Library, Pei understandably dwelled on this moment, when the page was, in his words, still blank, and when the waiting began and anything was possible except for all that was excluded, discarded, abandoned, or disallowed with each iteration of the design. And there were many. This is how the moment ripens, with a pitted stone of contingency hardening at its core. Here are Pei's words from 2003. "I have to say this, that the excitement of the thing is to be selected to do this. It's probably the most exciting moment in my professional career. Here's the Kairos, the ripeness of things, to be asked to do it, but yet in a nebulous state. And therefore, the greater that moment that turned out to be, the sadder it became, when it not really fulfilled what he could have been. The circumstances beyond my control, but not all of it beyond my control. So I do contribute a bit to that disappointment." Here history, not in the infinitive sense, but in the subjunctive mood, the could have been, the contemplation of which is the rich loam of disappointment. As it happens, the library was built in a capped waste dump. One of the preliminary challenges confronted by the architects was to vent the methane gas percolating from below. How to see a project through? A 1965 New York profile of Pei by Arthur Herzog in a draft vetted by Mr. Kennedy, it bore the title, The Happy Architect, evidently referring to Pei's temperament, for few architects-- at least to my mind-- appear less available to the allures of the happy accident. Herzog matter-of-factly reported that the timetable Pei had in mind was six months for the acquisition of the site, six months for design, another year for working out drawings, and 2 and 1/2 years for actual construction, if all goes well. Big plans depend on big ifs. "Better were that Pei had adopted from the outset the so it goes, the neo-Ecclesiastian refrain of Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five from 1969, who had come unstuck in time." Here is one example of its use from that novel's kaleidoscopic final chapter. "Robert Kennedy was shot two nights ago. He died last night. So it goes." It had been Robert Kennedy, in fact, with a fine sense of occasion, who had concluded the proceedings at the Pierre Hotel with a "good luck, Mr. Pei," offering the architect a needed encouraging grin. Now let's turn to our text, which I hope to bear out this notion of the infinitive I've been tinkering with. Let us now turn to Ulysses, our polytropos character. The JFK archives contains the text of a speech that then-Senator Kennedy delivered at a democratic dinner in Yakima, Washington, June 21, 1959. In a touching moment of homo [? forsunae, ?] to use the Homeric term for the sweet like-mindedness of husband and wife, while waiting for his turn at the podium, Kennedy was inspired to close by evoking Tennyson, but was apparently at a momentary loss for words. So he scribbles, "give me the last lines from Ulysses, beginning come my friends." He hastily scribbled on the back of the type script. Mrs. Kennedy supplied the rest near faultlessly in her unaffective cursive handwriting. In his canonical discussion of the perceptible counter movement, as he calls it, within Ulysses the poem, Tennyson scholar Christopher Ricks speaks of the reluctance in a poem of such adventurous setting forth to use the future tense. The future recedes. The indefinite remains. It hovers, suspends things and possibilities of both adventure and disappointment. The Kennedy brothers were fond of quoting the line from Lord Tweedesmuir's memoir, Pilgrim's Way, in which he defined politics as the most exciting of adventures. For Tennyson's Ulysses, who having returned home found a living end in the ongoing affairs of state, the administration of Ithaca, it is the imagined voyage out that unmakes the newly familiar limits of space and time. And here you have "yet all experiences in art where through gleams that untravelled world whose margins fade forever, forever when I move." And here, just kind of the metric cadence here, the [inaudible] of poetic diction. Here's this exquisite passage from Matthew Arnold, where he sets what he would call in his own poetry, a dolorous cadence, slow to what Tennyson has rendered in these lines. In the most pervasive of the poem's insidious enervation, as Ricks calls them, the infinitive serves as the ambiguous equivalent of the suppressed future tense. Hence Ulysses' curiously tentative, "my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset," not I shall sail. The monologue concludes with a crescendo of these equivalents that stand in for the future tense, but also stand out against it, "to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." We may give a geometrical form, indeed apply Euclidean geometry to this aspiration without an object, this form of Victorian longing, whose great cause is often vague and sometimes non-existent. As Tennyson scholar David Shaw shows, "in its balance of heroic and elegiac sentiment, the passive grammar and repeating syntax of Ulysses produces a self-retarding movement within a poem about a returned adventurer who is forever about to sail again." It is well to note that Kennedy gave the name Victura to his lifelong pleasure craft, a 25-foot Wianno Senior sloop, now parked on a manicured lawn on the sea-facing side of the library. According to his forgivably faulty Latin, he said the name meant about to conquer. The timeless infinitives that lend Ulysses its cadence is poised between verb and substantive, between finite acts and endless questing, Shaw tells us. And the problem is illustrated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Sorry, being mindful of time, I lost my place. The problem is illustrated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who by his own bemused admission a poor student of Euclid, in his unpublished treatise on logic. Drawing on the precepts of geometry, one might say literally so, he rejects the duality of idealism and realism by diagrammatic means, marking out the unfixed in differentia, the point of indifference between being and action, or the substantive and verb. Point a-- little a-- marks not a position, but stands in for a tendency, a possible outcome of this infinitive strive. There are always and ever other outcomes, real and imagined. Ricks, for example, hears rippling underneath that final line of Ulysses, another line almost identical and yet utterly different, "to strive, to seek, to yield, and not to find." I'm almost done. Is it too late to start anew? There is much to the story, some of it moderately interesting still left to be said. But in the interest of time let us again defer to Pei. In an interview with Paul Goldberger soon after the library's dedication, Pei says, "the library is a sad story. It was originally to be a pyramid of glass near Harvard Square. But local opposition for the influx of tourists expected led to a decade's delay, and finally to the redesigning of the building as a simple understated masonry structure, a building that related so much to its context that it hardly did anything else. It had no ekstasis." That did not manage to go into construction either. And finally, the project was relocated to the campus of University of Massachusetts at Columbia Point in Dorchester, at the edge of Boston. The alternate site-- here Ed's speaking again-- the alternate site had very little interest intrinsically to recommend it. It was a last refuge. Pei said, "all landfill, yeah. The whole thing was made up by man, a complete landfill. I think that pretty much exhausts it. That's the story, isn't it?" But is that how stories end, with exhaustion, with methane fumes? The families convinced by the site when project architect Pei's associate partner, Ted [? mucheau ?] took them to the far edge of the reclaimed promontory, and pointed beyond two outlying islands the lighthouse that separates the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts Bay. With this calculated gesture, establishing a visual pyramid made of hopeful lines of irradiation, the site was finally decided upon. How did Pei bring this building campaign to an end? "It is Louis Kahn who I most admire," Pei said in an interview with Goldberger. "From him I learned that it's not just a concept but the way the concept is executed that is important. Kahn's is an architecture of ideas, and I worry that ideas and professional practice do not intersect enough to geometry." Pei pauses, Goldberger notes, then adds, "maybe my early training set me back. Maybe it made me too much of a pragmatist." Alas, the GSD excuse. But it is the pause here that registers, the pause taken in by Goldberger, the matter of keeping things in ideas mutually in suspension. What then do we make of Pei's symbol of architecture of pure Euclidean geometry? In the section of the logic dealing with answerable and unanswerable questions, Coleridge draws on Moses Mendelssohn's Morning Hours, the final work of this towering figure of the Enlightenment, written, as its title suggests, at the beginning of the day when the ailing philosopher was still clear and cheery. "Here is the problem. Let a four-sided pyramid A be suspended to float in the air so as to receive the light equally on all sides and consequently not suggesting the notion of it's solid figure and contents to the eye of the spectator." The verb "schreiben" means to hang or waft in the air, figuratively to be in the balance, undecided, indefinite. Coleridge then populates the scene. "We will suppose eight or nine spectators in different positions. And the question afterward arises, what shape the phenomena had." Well, I think here today, we have the minion. So perhaps it is time to begin scrutinizing the infinity of traces left by Pei on the man-made shore of Columbia Point. The end, thank you. [applause] Thank you, Ed. Our second speaker on this panel is Andre Bideau. His research targets intersections of architectural production, urbanization, and urban governance. A focus of his work lies on the socio-economic dynamics of postmodernism and post-Fordism. And he has lectured and published extensively on the German architect OM Ungers. His current research involves the early development of the La Defense office district in Paris. Bideau has taught at the School of Architecture in Paris-Malaquais, and at the Harvard GSD. Currently, he's teaching at the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio. Andre. [applause] Thank you very much for this introduction. Thank you so much for the invitation. It's great to be here. And I think it's been really thrilling, and it's sort of an honor, a privilege to kind of also connect some dots maybe now, as one of the later speakers of this wonderful symposium. 1970 marks the middle of IM Pei's career, both in biographic and stylistic terms. Prominent commissions had made his civic projects and his work in urban renewal highly visible in the United States by then. But this is also the time when a little known foray into Paris took place, long before the Louvre provided the firm with its international spotlight. From 1971 to 1972, Pei and his associate Araldo Cassutta developed a series of designs for a site in La Defense. The relative obscurity that these designs are shrouded in has various reasons. A simple explanation, of course, being the fact that Pei's oeuvre is typically assessed via built work, and quite under-theorized, as we've heard repeatedly today in our discussions. I will talk today about this virtually unknown episode of paper architecture in a period of paper architecture, of course, beginning in the same decade, but of course, of which Pei's practice was never a part. Paper architecture that participates in the same axis of something quite else, which is of course the Grande Louvre project in Paris. Stylistically, this design relates to the refined Brutalist and Metabolist language that Pei had adopted in the 1960s. But it also announces the abstract Monumentalism that came to characterize his subsequent work. At La Defense, these tendencies seem to overlap, or at first glance, to explore the direction of a slightly unsettling new futurism. We should note that this is the year in which Piano and Rogers will win the competition for the Centre Pompidou in the same city, just as a side remark. At the same time, we can also see references to Yamasaki's World Trade Center, then under construction in New York, and a reference for the client at La Defense. The hypertrophic aspect can also be related to more than the mere evolution of Pei's personal signature, or the openness of his signature, or of course, the authorship that Cassutta shared in this particular project. One can hardly imagine a more complex environment in which architecture appears like the mere tip of an iceberg, an object literally propped up over endless infrastructural complexity concealed underneath the site. Pei and Cossutta developed their series of high rise designs for Tete Defense. Tete is the French word for head. And as the focal point of an actual pedestrian plaza, this was the most prominent and daunting side that La Defense had to offer any designer ever. It is the culminating point of the gentle incline beginning at the bank of the Seine, a plateau where the Arche de la Defense was built in the 1980s. The same site had been the embryo of post-war planning. And by the time Pei's office was hired, a hybrid program was foreseen here, an office tower, shopping center, two hotels, all straddling a future transportation node then under construction. It was flanked by the spectacular CNIT Exhibition Hall, the pioneering building at La Defense, designed by Bernard Zehrfuss, CNIT, Centre National des Industries et Technologies. CNIT was a byproduct of the postwar universal exhibition that was planned for La Defense, but abandoned by the mid-1950s already. From a very early moment on, projects for a vertical marker as companion piece to the lower dome structure were put forward for a symbol that would lure development away from Paris to a modernizing peri-urban landscape. In part, these projects were heroic structures that sought to combine contemporary aesthetic agendas with the legacy of things like the Eiffel Tower. In part, they were projects suggesting spectacular real estate opportunities at La Defense, like this tower here by Bernard Zehrfuss, the same architect who also designed the CNIT dome. This signal effect became increasingly important when it was apparent that urban renewal at La Defense was geared mainly toward producing an office satellite to the west of Paris, and no longer a space of world universal exhibitions, cultural institutions. There was, for example, also a project to actually situate the future Museum of Modern Contemporary Art here. That then would become the Centre Pompidou. The site for which Pei and Cossutta developed a series of designs in 1970 asked for an architectural gesture, no doubt. Extending the actual organization of Paris westward, La Defense is inscribed in distinct compositional traditions that go back to the 17th century and to Andre Le Notre. The development of the CBD was launched and shepherded by a succession of French governments. Especially when an adverse economic climate arose, the government stepped in to stimulate development. Such state patronage represents the assertion of a technocratic planning and urbanism that is commonly identified with the beginnings of the Fifth Republic in France. Massive interventions in infrastructure, industry, and housing were the result of the strengthening of executive power under President Charles de Gaulle, who in 1958, famously put an end to the instability of the post-war parliamentary system with a new constitution. The Fifth Republic was and still is today characterized by direct government involvement in key industries and utilities, particularly in nuclear power. Other examples are technologies like Concorde, Airbus, and TGV, but also the physical imprint on the French capital, and especially on its periphery. [inaudible] on the right. Beginning-- speaking of orientation and imprints-- [laughter] Where was I? [laughter] Now I'm lost. Beginning in 1965, the ville nouvelle satellite towns were developed in the outer periphery of Paris, while social housing in ever-larger dimensions filled the inner periphery to which La Defense itself belonged. Recent scholarship-- and I'm thinking of Kenny Cooper's but also [? samye ?] [? henne-- ?] has connected this urbanization of the periphery with the shift of governance from the colonies of France to the home country in a period where the nation underwent its violent and painful process of decolonization. At its center, of course, was the disaster of the civil war in Algeria that led to the country's independence in 1962. The migration that this conflict entailed coincided with the social and demographic transformation of the Parisian periphery, where the massive state investment can be seen as reasserting the sovereignty lost overseas in Algeria, but also in Indochina. At the same time, planning was part of the techno politics used to control and segregate a restless foreign immigrant population. The clash of this reality with urban renewal at La Defense was particularly harsh. Throughout the 1960s, the adjacent neighborhoods were still characterized by small scale manufacturing, tenements, slums, and shantytowns that housed the refugee population from the war in Algeria. As a buffer around the future business satellite, social housing was also built, some of which was even integrated into the future CBD of La Defense. Its master plan was approved in 1964, with a raised superblock replacing the existing avenue Charles de Gaulle. La Defense created its own topography that was contained within a limited access ring road. Grouping high rises around a linear platform, this 1964 master plan presented an ambitious urban composition for the future. Given that its authors were all trained at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris, it is ironic that the the nation, in fact, the promoters of La Defense soon turned to the United States and its practitioners, figures such as IM Pei and Victor Gruen for their ideas. As we will see, by the late 1960s, La Defense had become a contact zone for international trends regarding project organization, real estate development, and architectural language. This incubator moment interests me, and this is what I'll be talking about in more detail now. It reveals how the language of high modernism, as in Pei's case, responds to the site where it is deployed, how economic parameters and institutional forces in a given context impact design. That the United States and its corporate offices became a source of inspiration was a result of the increasing involvement of the private real estate sector at La Defense. Developers were well aware that they had something to learn on the other side of the Atlantic if they wanted to live up to the politician's ambitions to replace a working class suburb with a business district of international relevance in the still very unstable and backwards climate of France of the 1960s. To instill such a dynamic at La Defense, the government had set up an agency in 1958, the EPAD, the L'Establissement Public pour l'Amenagement de la Defense-- you see here the logo-- was set up shortly after the exhibition project was abandoned, with a mission to attract private capital to La Defense. In its initial phase, this government sponsored CBD was almost like a watered down universal exhibition, meant to provide the French economy with a grand showcase, and advertised also appropriately with sort of national icons in national media such as Paris Match magazine. At the same time, however, a paradox unfolded on the national level which redefined the relationship of France in this particular time to the Western superpower to the United States. In 1968, President de Gaulle engineered the departure of France from NATO, and the monetary policy that this president embarked upon during the later years of his reign sought to increase the nation's economic independence by selling off France's dollar reserves. In the same years, EPAD, under its new director, Jean [? millie ?] organized study trips to the United States and to Canada, undertaken for French planners and investors. Beginning in 1969, these excursions, including meetings at the offices of IM Pei, of John Portman, SOM, Philip Johnson, Harrison Abramovitz many of whom would soon design office towers in collaborations also with French architects at La Defense. The French visited recent or ongoing urban renewal on their trip. Harrison's Empire State Plaza in Albany, Portman's Peachtree Center in Atlanta, and Yamasaki's World Trade Center, then under construction. Two commercial superblock projects by IM Pei and Associates in collaboration with Bill Zeckendorf were on the program as well, L'Enfant Plaza in Washington DC, and Place Ville-Marie in Montreal. In both cases, urban renewal corresponded to the scale and to the civic ambition that EPAD sought to develop at La Defense. Its 1964 master plan designated the Tete Defense plateau as a node where the raised superblock would include the maximum degree of connectivity ensure connections to Paris. Commuter trains to Paris, [inaudible] the future RER express line under construction to the center of Paris, to the Le Halles area, which was then under redevelopment, right of ways for a Metro extension, and an actual highway linking Paris to Normandy westward. With direct access to the loop road, the site was also required for parking for 10,000 cars, and delivery facilities for the grande tour, for the big tower for offices, two hotels, and a shopping center. During two years between 1970 and 1971, Pei worked on the design of this grande tour, of this office tower. At the same time, however, his office was also involved with the plaza, and with the actual host structure that fused the various components to complement the superblock adjacent to the CNIT Exhibition Center. You see here the CNIT footprint. Here you see the office tower footprint. And this whole parameter here is what I'm calling host structure, the aggregate of these various serving and delivery components. The various designs for Tete Defense all evince a tension between hidden infrastructure and a formal composition that appears above ground and communicates with a broader cityscape. This duality, of course, anticipates Pei's reorganization of the Louvre much later. Here too we will see an underground superblock condition from which a vertical gesture emerges as the centerpiece of a pedestrian plaza. In 1970, there was a second moment of tension between underground and above ground, this tension. The second moment would be a conflict between the plinth and the monument. A question of monumentality and appropriating tradition may have been controversial. And Pei's work on the Grande Louvre, as we've already heard. But at Le Tete Defense, this issue was more than contentious, especially because another American was already active on this very same site. One year before Pei, Victor Gruen had been appointed, as I mentioned, representing a quite different urban planning philosophy. As the international expert for relating the typologies of retail and urbanism, Gruen was an obvious choice for the inexperienced French. His Heart of Our Cities had been released in 1964. And soon after, Gruen was involved with planning at d'Evry, the first ville nouvelle to be built in the Paris region. In d'Evry, Gruen worked on a joint civic center and shopping center quite similar to the task that he was soon given at La Defense. In contrast to Pei, he understood its urbanization not simply as extending Paris with a monument, but also as defining a hub in the surrounding metropolitan landscape as a quote, "project that is part of the Paris region and part of a general environment." Because Gruen related to this territorial scale, he was mainly interested in structuring program and public space. His work at Tete Defense privileged loose groupings of masses that were irrigated by circulation and parking, granting maximum access to cars, not burying them in garages below grade, like IM Pei. But to the public-private client, Gruen's design soon appeared as an approach that was somewhat insufficient when it came to energizing this unique site urbanistically. This is exactly what was expected of Pei, whose recent work had made an impression on EPAD during their 1969 study trip to the United States. So Pei and Cossutta then submitted numerous suggestions for their ideas on Tete Defense, numerous alternatives. Yet looking at documents related to the contract between Pei and Associates and EPAD, it is surprising how the authority, the client, expected a collaboration between both American teams to happen. In vain, as imported ideas made conflicts inevitable. As Pei's office submitted numerous high rise configurations in '70 and '71, the artificial ground at La Defense became the battleground of the superblock with the tower, we could say. In a report to EPAD in summer, 1970 already, Gruen juxtaposed what he called his quote, "functional urbanism" with Pei and Cossutta's quote, "formalist urbanism," and their quote, "subjective approach." Closing his report, Gruen stated that the two methods were utterly incompatible, and that the client would need to make a decision. Sensing the preferences of EPAD, Gruen discontinued his work at La Defense later in the same year in 1970. From now on, Pei and Cossutta faced a twofold challenge. On one hand, to deliver a gesture formerly adequate to the famous monumental axis of Paris, and on the other hand, to avoid blocking the view from Place de La Concorde and Champs Elysees a perspective that extended even further beyond La Defense toward the town of [inaudible]. Addressing this legacy, Pei spoke of a quote, "gesture towards Paris," where he saw quote, "Arc de Triomphe looking for a dialogue partner in vain," end of quote. Pei's article in Le Figaro in October, 1972 is proof of how sensitive an issue this same view corridor had become. Perhaps also, wrote [? court, ?] responding to Gruen's scathing criticism of Pei and Cossutta, the New York team conducted extensive visual research, visual analysis to support their proposals for a monumental closure at La Defense. Its new skyline became a focal point in public debates in this period, the period in which the first generations of skyscrapers were emerging west of Paris. In general, La Defense was an easy target when attacking government arrogance, in particular the use of public money to attract private developers to urban renewal. And it remained unsuccessful when it came to proving the benefits of relocating real estate development to the urban periphery, with the argument of sparing the inner city. One of the main developers at Tete Defense also backed the contentious redevelopment scheme for Montparnasse Station, the lone tower then under construction inside Paris. Here you see the Montparnasse Tower by Eugene Beaudouin, in the years precisely of the struggle of Pei and Cossutta to find a solution for Tete Defense. But as we will see next, failure at La Defense did not prevent the career in French real estate of our protagonists. Pei returned to La Defense 25 years later after his triumph at the Louvre, and realized the headquarters of the French utilities giant, EDF Electricite de France, this slender tower on the right. Rising over an elliptic plan, the EDF tower belongs to the third generation of real estate lining the superblock that was laid out in 1964, 30 years before. For Araldo Cossutta, the episode at Tete Defense proved to be valuable immediately. In 1973, he opened his own firm, seizing the opportunity to work for a key investor from Tete Defense, Credit Lyonnais. In its hometown, Lyon, this bank intended to develop a second pole, similar to La Defense in Paris. Urban renewal in the Part-Dieu neighborhood was meant to relieve the saturated city center of Lyon, but it also anticipated demand for the office space once the TGV terminal at Lyon Part-Dieu would be completed, and TGV service initiated from Paris to Lyon, bringing these cities together by almost two hours with high speed rail traffic. Cossutta's Tour Part-Dieu, which you see here, became an instant landmark in 1977, soon given the name Le Crayon, The Pencil. Regardless of an earlier glass pyramid theme in Cambridge, which we just saw, we can see here the immediate precursor to the Louvre. Cossutta's iconic skylight is similar to Pei's in Paris, in construction as well as in function. Both pyramids are self-supporting structures slightly over 20 meters tall that provide daylight over an introverted collective space. In Lyon, the top 10 floors of the Tower House, a hotel that is organized around an atrium, very much Portman-style. Like the tower cylindrical shaft, the pyramid is part of a post Brutalist language that offers a new compositional tone for architecture, a language that counters very much the verbose postmodernism emerging in the late 1970s. Drawing from the primordial geometries investigated at Tete Defense, Araldo Cossutta sought a simplified rhetoric and mineral purity for Tour Part-Dieu, which was clad in mineral red prefabricated panels. Similar to the suspended series of parabolic arches in this version of the Tete Defense project, which you see to the right, in Lyon we also see daring engineering that is combined with an almost academic monumentalism to achieve this iconic simple form of a landmark for real estate. One should note here that Cossutta was trained at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris immediately after World War II before working briefly with Corbusier and then coming to GSD, where he graduated in 1952. In his 15 years with Pei, he was the partner in charge of many of the firms Brutalist projects, and therefore accustomed to the programmatic rigor and richness of top-down urban renewal. Similar to Tete Defense, the base of the [? pargio ?] Tower is fused with a multi-level shopping center. In both projects, Cossutta collaborated with urban planner, Vincent Ponte, another expert in organizing comprehensive superblock environments. In Montreal, Ponte's work was part of the itinerary of the field trip that French developers and planners had undertaken in 1969 that I mentioned. Like Araldo Cossutta, Vincent Ponte was a player in the ever-larger planning teams that Pei's firm assembled in the '60s and '70s, constantly adapting and refining its corporate structure in ways that were quite different from the arrogant authorship that had been chastised by Gruen. I would argue that such organizational skills allowed Pei to expand the 1960s superblock idea with his subsequent designs. As a matrix, the superblock underpins both Tete Defense and Pei's Grande Louvre design. In each case, a monumental vertical gesture is plugged into a horizontal organizing framework. These designs are driven by their macro scale logic, either the twin towers or the pyramid. At the Louvre, the underground link of the palace's horseshoe configuration and its connection to a new parking and delivery network serve as the host structure. At the Tete Defense, on the other hand, it was the multi-layered aggregate containing car, rail, and pedestrian circulation that would have performed a similar role. Indeed, everything was undertaken to purge vehicular traffic from the surface of Tete Defense. The pedestrian realm here was destined to become the stage that provided maximum impact for an architectural gesture. This pedestrian perspective was further enhanced by the work of Boston landscape architect, Dan Kiley, who aimed to replicate the Tuileries Gardens on the lower segment of the plaza you see here to the left in the rendering of the Tete Defense, and to the right, the executed Dan Kiley segment of La Defense landscaping. Although Pei's project remained unbuilt, its formal strategy was in tune with the civic aesthetics under the Mitterrand era that would determine La Defense in the future. The windswept superblock of the American downtown, of which we've seen many examples today, is emblematic for the marriage of postwar urban renewal with pockets of Athens charter functionless urbanism, as clearly evidenced in Pei's work for developer, William Zeckendorf. Not only L'Enfant Plaza in Washington DC, Kips Bay Plaza in Manhattan, but also the Christian Science Center show the same rarefied urban sonography. In each case, the superblock is the insular space that allows Pei's refined Brutalism to flourish and perpetuate itself. The morphological logic of these projects reveals a homogeneity not unlike the formal City Beautiful compositions half a century earlier. And I would argue that this is what also will contribute to the aura of the Grande Louvre, this homogeneity, and sort of the sequencing of space, especially in the subterranean concourse of the new museum. Pei's versatility as a designer shows how the superblock outlasted and overcame the functionalist tabla rasa and aesthetic. In 1970, Pei's work at La Defense was part of the late modern exchange across the North Atlantic. In the 1980s, Pei delivered a monument for the cultural politics of President Francois Mitterrand's socialism, so a different political agenda than the 1960s, which was the agenda of right wing goalism. From La Defense, the incarnation of corporate capitalism under the Fifth republic, the superblock travels onward to this other representation of power, which is the Grande Louvre. But in either instance, modernisation is driven and managed by the state, and both are showcases of French governance. At the Louvre, high culture made accessible for all, and at La Defense, an economy that is stimulated and regulated by the central state. The post-war world exhibition that was not meant to be-- I don't know why this last image has been dropped. No, here it is. So the post-war world exhibition that was planned for La Defense prior to the creation of EPAD, the development agency for this mega site, this government driven CBD. The deployment of economic and cultural capital is part of how real estate architecture and urbanism interact. I've tried to demonstrate this interaction through the various appropriations of the superblock morphology by discussing what is on it, underneath it, inside and outside of it. Thank you very much, that's it. [applause] (WHISPERING) Sorry. Thank you, Andre. Our next speaker is Cole Roskam, who is associate professor of architectural history at the department of architecture at the University of Hong Kong. He of course, received his PhD in art history here from Harvard in 2010. His research examines architecture's role in mediating moments of transnational exchange between China and other parts of the world. His scholarship has been published in AD, Art Forum International, Grey Room, The Journal of Architectural Education, and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians amongst others. And he's also-- I should mention-- the organizer representing the University of Hong Kong with the session in December. [applause] OK, thank you Seng, and thank you to all the other organizers. It's a thrill to see the conference and the discourse sort of materialize in real time here. The Fragrant Hill Hotel occupies uncertain terrain in the long and storied career of IM Pei. On one hand, the hotel has been generally celebrated as Pei's homecoming, the architect's first built work in mainland China since he left the country in 1935 to attend the University of Pennsylvania, and envisioned by the architect as an architectural model for China's modernization in the wake of the destructive Cultural Revolution. This narrative, which I think was neatly summarized in some ways by Lai Delin, frames the building as a sensitive aesthetic and formal re-engagement with imperial era Chinese building traditions at a time in which China's architectural and landscape design history remained politically delicate. At the same time, however, in what I hope to argue today, that there is a more equivocal history behind the building, particularly in the way that it attempted to marry the imagined Chinese past of Pei's childhood with the four modernizations of early reform era China. An ambiguous position hinted at here in the title of Andy Warhol's photograph of the hotel, Or a Modern Building, taken just weeks after its opening in October, 1982. Archival sources indicate an unusually exhausting and frustrating architectural effort burdened by expectation, financial demands, and environmental concerns that challenged Pei in ways no other project did before or after. Pei himself has been quoted as calling it quote, "the most torturous thing I've ever done," end quote. And the hotel materialized only after years of difficult negotiations between Pei's team and Chinese officials over everything from site, to scale, to the materials used in the building's construction, to the decoration of its interior. This paper seeks to reconcile these opposing viewpoints. As I will argue today, re-assessing the hotel remains a difficult and sensitive but nevertheless essential task to understanding the trajectory of Pei's later career, and the themes of tradition and abstraction that continue to dominate contemporary architectural debate in China today. In 1974 Pei returned to mainland China after a 39-year hiatus as a member of a three-week architectural tour organized by the Chinese Society of Architects and the Architectural Institute of Architects, described in an Architectural Record article shown here written by Walter Wagner, who was also a participant. The trip and other exchanges like it prefigured China's subsequent dramatic shift toward more market-based economic policy and development following Mao Zedong's death in 1976, and Deng Xiaoping's ascent in 1978. Pei returned to China again in 1978, where he was invited to participate in a multi-hotel development project in several large Chinese cities slated for tourism development, including Guilin, shown here in photographs I believe to have been taken by Mr. Pei, as well as Nanjing. The search for new models for China's physical development were taking place as the Chinese Communist Party had become divided between a group of reform-minded officials pushing for a new, more market-based economic models for development, and a collection of more conservative Party members who were deeply uncertain as to the effects such development would have on the country's socialist goals. Architecture and urban design emerged as spaces of compromise in this ideological struggle. For example, the ambitious series of special economic zones launched in Guangdong and Fujian provinces in 1980 offered the Party a macro scale urban model for new forms of economic experimentation that could in theory exist in isolation from the rest of the country. A wave of new international hotel construction was expected to function in a similar fashion, namely to facilitate the infusion of foreign capital into the country while operating largely divorced from the socialist landscapes surrounding them. And this is the Great Wall Project done by Beckett International, which was also being built at the same time as the Fragrant Hill hotel. Overseas Chinese designers and investors like Pei or the Chinese-American architect and developer Clement Chen, shown here, who designed and helped to finance Beijing's Jianguo Hotel, were considered to be key participants in China's reform efforts in so far as they offered a comforting degree of cultural familiarity that proved useful to the Chinese government as it attempted to naturalize the foreign capital flowing into the country. In many ways, however, these figures were limited in their knowledge of communist China, particularly in terms of what they could accomplish or effect within the Party's bureaucracy. Pei's Han Chinese ethnicity was obviously one component of his appeal to the Party. Yet his knowledge of China's political and socioeconomic peculiarities, particularly in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution and the death of figures like Mao and Premier Zhau Enlai was negligible. This gap between Pei's perceived cultural fluency on one hand and the political realities of mainland China on the other would prove fateful to the Fragrant Hill hotel's success. In an effort to secure Pei's participation in China's modernisation efforts, the Beijing municipal government presented the architect with six possible sites for a new hotel, all of which were located within Beijing city center. And they can be seen-- they're marked here in red-- roughly to the northeast of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, on the way to the recently constructed airport. And there's another potential site located out near Tsinghua University and Beida. Pei famously rejected all of these sites, and more generally dismissed Beijing's Soviet-inspired Maoist era architecture as quote, "rootless and disposable in time," end quote. Instead, and inspired to preserve Beijing's remaining imperial era urban fabric, Pei identified a location some 30 kilometers outside the city nestled within the foothills of a Chiang imperial cum Party retreat known as Fragrant Hill. And I've highlighted the eventual position of the hotel here within the nature preserve. Chinese officials subsequently proposed that Pei quote, "reconstruct and renovate," end quote, a preexisting structure on the site with a series of private two and three-story villas capable of providing 200 to 300 more rooms for officials and other visitors. Pei envisioned a very different kind of project, namely one that would somehow bridge China's imperial past and the country's present through the construction of a new Chinese architectural imaginary capable of accommodating the country's economic transformation. Beginning in late 1978 through 1979, Pei lobbied mainland academics, designers, and officials to embrace a new architectural language for socialist China, one that would both revive and quote, "nationalize vernacular and imperial building forms and aesthetics in the name of reform." Pei saw his own hotel project as a potential prototype for China's future architectural development. In preparation for the design, several members of the project's design team traveled to China, including Preston Moore and Kellogg Wong-- who's with us today-- where they were encouraged to walk the site to seek out and to study examples of Chinese vernacular architecture. And here are two figures like [? chun ?] [? song ?] [? jo, ?] who was featured in Lai Delin's presentation, proved very influential. Upon re-assembling in New York, Pei's team produced a design scheme in three months, a rapid turnaround that evinced Pei's commitment to the project. Unlike the architect's normal practice within the office, in which Pei would determine the basic design concept before delegating it to a team of subordinates, he remained fully invested in Fragrant Hill throughout the design process. Quote, "it is the first time I ever saw him actually sitting at a drafting table," end quote, remembered one Pei associate. The final design scheme consisted of a 322 room hotel composed of a large central courtyard-inspired atrium from which several wings of guestrooms spidered outward into the forest, where they would co-exist with the centuries-old cedar, cypress, spruce, and lake bark pine trees already on the premises. The hotel's low-lying mass was embellished with Shuzhou-style gray tiles, ash gray brick work, whitewashed stucco, and small polished stones that helped to lend the project a genteel uniquely southern Chinese charm that evoked Pei's childhood memories of the southern Jiangnan region, while denying the climactic and geographic realities of the northeastern Chinese context within which the project was situated. Pei later described the design of the hotel's intertwining interior and exterior spaces as an effort to capture the quote, "essential experience of China's architectural arts," end quote. In fact, the southern Jiangnan veneer applied to the project gestured not only to the region's historically thriving artistic literati culture, but to its wealthy merchant class, a notable contrast to Beijing, which had long been the seat of political power in China. In a series of schematic drawings detailing the various historical and inspirations at work in the hotel-- shown here and subsequently published in China's most prominent architectural journal, [inaudible] in 1981-- Pei sought to convince architects and officials alike of his project's potential contribution to the present and future of Chinese architecture through its abstraction of the country's past. In so doing, Pei defied the government's own vision of progress to partake in a Utopian fantasy of his own, a China born of recollection and untouched by communism. Pei's decision to decouple his project from the city also privileged a kind of financial imaginary of how the hotel might facilitate China's development in contrast to the Party's urban-based strategy. In this well-known promotional collage depicting an axonometric representation of the hotel collaged and set within the work of the late Ming painter Ch'en Jung, we see the multiple fictions of Pei's project on display. Here the aura of cultural tradition is employed in an effort to sell both Party officials and potential visitors on its architectural authenticity and the potential for economic success. In this respect, Fragrant Hill was a striking departure from other design strategies being employed in several other international hotel projects being built in China at the time, including the aforementioned Jianguo, or the Great Wall hotels in Beijing. Whereas those projects both offered superficial miniaturized approximations of the Chinese courtyard, the pavilion, or the garden-- and here we see, for example, the garden neatly tucked in to the tight confines of the Jianguo hotel or perched on the roofscape of the Great Wall hotel-- the Fragrant Hill Hotel immersed its international visitors much more completely and fluidly within a pastoral landscape carved into a preexisting nature reserve. It was a daring-- and some might later critique-- extravagant effort to buy and sell encounters with a distinctly historical China at a time in which Chinese history remained a politically sensitive topic. Pei's work did not visibly remediate perceptions of the vast economic incommensurability between Western architectural standards and those of post Mao China so much as it seemed to pull them further apart, thereby challenging the Party's vision of what China's liberalization would look like. These tensions would haunt the project throughout its subsequent construction. The building itself consisted of a relatively simple concrete and brick structure whose foundation was reportedly dug by hand by 2,000 workers. Builders reported that the gray tiles needed to realize Pei's vision were no longer being produced in the country, prompting an urgent search for old artisans capable of making them. Production of five of Pei's desired bricks purportedly costs more than 50 renminbi, or roughly the equivalent of an average Chinese worker's monthly salary at the time, while the paving stones necessary for the project's decor had to be independently procured from local residents rather than through the Beijing number one construction team assigned to the project. For the garden's impressive rockery stones were shipped from the well-known stone forest near Kunming in Yunnan province some 2,000 kilometers to the southwest, adding to the project's expense. The hotel's building construction and landscaping teams, meanwhile, would not coordinate or communicate with each other because they reported separately to the mayor of Beijing. Officials also resisted Pei's request to include an abstract painting by the Chinese-born French citizen Zao Wou-Ki, which is shown here on the screen, welcoming visitors into the main atrium, on the basis of modern art's still-controversial status within the communist country. Though one of Zao's works was obviously and eventually displayed in the hotel lobby. As the hotel materialized it became increasingly evident that the project as conceived by Pei was incompatible with the bureaucracy expected to operate it, necessitating the improvised creation of new sources and systems capable of satisfying the architect's vision. Pei's efforts to renew aesthetic, material, and spatial elements of China's architectural heritage through abstraction had overestimated both the physical capabilities and the ideological flexibility of the socialist Chinese labor system required to realize and to sustain it. Pei himself estimated only 20% of the project's assigned workforce actually contributed to the project's construction. And Pei and partner staff reported examples of vandalism on the site, which caused delay, and triggered recrimination among the project's Chinese and American contributors. By the spring of 1982, and following 18 months of construction, Pei began to insist that the hotel had to be completed by the fall, when the site's foliage would begin to turn red. Construction unit teams and their representatives eventually ceded to Pei's request. And upon his return to Beijing that September, Pei noted that the construction crew, quote, "did more in the last two months than in the previous year and a half," end quote. In the days prior to the hotel's soft opening ceremony on October 16th, 1982, Pei and his wife Eileen were seeing mopping the atrium floors, cleaning bathrooms, scraping bubble gum off of the floors, and moving furniture into the desired positions. The hotel's opening was attended by an international audience, including luminaries such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, noted Cold War diplomat Evangeline Bruce, China's minister of commerce, [? leo ?] [? yi, ?] and Beijing's mayor Jiao Ruoyu. Despite the cosmopolitan nature of both the space and the event, however, officials barred foreign journalists from attending, an impulse that underscored the tensions at work in the project from its beginning. One particularly sensitive point was that was the reported $25 million price tag paid for the building, which offered an interpretation of contemporary Chinese architecture quite different from the government's own architectural vision of reform. In the months following the hotel's opening, articles published in official outlets such as the People's Daily and China Reconstructs struggled to translate the project into an ideological language Chinese readers would understand. One account argued that the building aimed to be quote, "all for the people," end quote, but ultimately failed by not providing housing for its staff. Pei himself was depicted not only as a quote, "brilliant designer," end quote, but also a quote, "diligent worker," end quote. Even the building's most public supporters, however, felt compelled to acknowledge the project's politicized shortcomings. At a government-sponsored symposium held at the Fragrant Hill hotel in December, 1982, over 30 attendees from China's architectural elite debated the project's merit. [? leo ?] [? kai ?] [? ji, ?] the deputy architect of the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, or BIAD, found the project to be a reasonable success despite its unspeakable commercialization of an imperial garden. [laughter] [? leo ?] also hypothesized that Pei's quote, "superstar status--" and we can see that here in quotes here, and then translated into English. [laughter] This status may have contributed to the project's quote, "wasteful and extravagant nature," end quote. By contrast, Wu [? guangcheng, ?] who was BIAD's chief architect, lauded both the Fragrant Hill and the Jianguo hotels for quote, "their shocking effects," end quote, on Beijing's built environment, as both buildings threw into stark relief the city's former rigidity, its restrictive atmosphere, and the lack of a contemporary spirit. Other comments noted that the hotel's unfortunate distance from Beijing city center, it's underwhelming monumentality, and it's insensitive engagement with northern garden design, that is the imposition of a southern aesthetic into northeastern China. Pei's own candid reflections on the hotel, published soon after the building's completion, evinced both his own dissatisfaction with the project and his unwillingness to adhere to the Party's messaging. Quote, "I did the best I could," end quote, Pei reflected to Connoisseur in February, 1983 Quote, "it is not architecturally all I wanted, but it is the best I could have done under the difficult circumstances. By that I mean at this stage in their development, the Chinese are able to comprehend, and more important, construct only a certain amount," end quote. Pei also acknowledge that, quote, "a hotel survives on management not design. Maintenance is key," end quote. It was a sobering admission by one of the most famous designers in the world. Pei seemed particularly aggrieved by the response or lack thereof from China's young designers to the project. Quote, "by some of the younger Chinese architects who expected something spectacular, I am considered a betrayer. Something spectacular is precisely what I did not want to do. Right now, the younger architects are silent. They are waiting to see if this style will be accepted," end quote. Acceptance would eventually come, though a visit to China today offers a stark reminder that Pei's hotel would not redirect Chinese architecture in the way the architect had envisioned. Ultimately, I would posit we may locate the most lasting value of the Fragrant Hotel in the very controversial nature of its becoming, both with respect to Pei's career and in the debates the project generated in China. The oddness, both with respect to its seemingly out of time and out of place condition, urge the viewer to rethink what could be interpreted as old and new, real or unreal, or alternatively, modern or Chinese in architectural design, implicitly challenging a government long used to determining for its people what constituted the truth. With such controversy came deeper questions concerning the shifting productive forces just beginning to reshape China, and how these forces should be harnessed and represented in architectural terms. The Fragrant Hill Hotel sparked discussion not simply about the role of history in early reform era Chinese design, but about artistic license, a question neither the party nor the architect necessarily anticipated. For the first time the Chinese government was forced to engage with a celebrity designer whose reputation was considered vital to the project's success even as it limited the government's control over the architectural results. By challenging the Party's notions of architectural quality and taste with his own discerning standards, we may see the specter of Pei's experience in the debates that would surround the subsequent work of other high profile architects in China, both Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House, as well as Rem Koolhaus's and OMA's CCTV headquarters among others. Like these more recent works, the Fragrant Hill Hotel poses questions concerning the role of an avant garde in processes of economic liberalization, and the political implications of the government sponsoring the construction of abnormal, even weird architectural objects. In this respect, Pei's work prompted questions that continue to test the boundaries of Chinese architectural discourse today. Thank you. [applause] Thank you, Cole. Our last two presentations this afternoon-- I'll actually introduce them in fact, as a pair. To shake things up a little bit, we have a fairly unusual situation where we we're going to start with a provocation or introduction to Pei's interventions in Singapore by Shirley Surya and this is going to be followed with a response perhaps, by a veteran of the office, Kellogg Wong. And I'll introduce them in turn as they come up to the podium. Shirley is an Associate Curator of Design and Architecture, at M+, where she focuses on research and design and architectural production in greater China and Southeast Asia. She was co-curator of Building M+, the Museum and Architecture Collection and the second exhibition Mobile M+ NEONSIGNS.HK. And she has contributed to exhibitions including Incomplete Urbanism, Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice and Yung Ho Chang & FCJZ, Materialism. She studied at the University of California at Berkeley and at the RC Royal College of Art in London. Shirley. [applause] So let's see. So thank you again for letting me present as part of IM Pei's work in Southeast Asia, so moving from China to Singapore. So I just wanted to start-- so as part of the curatorial team at M+, preparing for a retrospective on IM Pei's work, this paper is motivated by an interest in seeing the gaps that need to be filled in how Pei's transnational practice, particularly those in Asia, has been researched and represented. So my preliminary readings on Pei's overall practice and projects in the island state of Singapore have revealed some observations on how Pei's practice in the form of these projects has been represented. On one hand, they were seen as instrumental in building the country's identity, financial security, and public realm. And yet they were also perceived as corporate architecture, or rather perfunctory tools for economic pragmatism and symbolic aestheticization. So the latter half figured in accounts about Pei's reluctance in being associated with commercial architecture, and how the office had engaged in Singapore projects only to sustain the 150-person firm. Similar bias against Pei's engagement with corporate architecture ever since his collaboration with William Zeckendorf, has also been expressed by certain architects who deemed Pei's projects as demonstrating only technical tour de force, not ideas, and exerting little design influence. So the following presentation of Pei's projects in Singapore, namely the Oversea-Chinese Bank Center, which is OCBC, Raffles City and Marina South development study is therefore an attempt to see the value of reading Pei's corporate architecture. And this is despite Pei's own ambivalence toward, and the architecture circle's dismissal of Pei's financial skyscrapers and large-scale commercial complexes. For is architecture and design only worth investigating when the single auteur architect favors its narrative of completeness and continuity between designed conception and implemented outcome? Or can architecture's entanglement with the indeterminacy of political economy reveal more of the architect's dealings with multiple agencies? So far from an in-depth study of each project, this paper will frame the corporate tower, the mixed-use commercial complex, and the unbuilt master plan of Singapore's prized waterfront as more than urban markers or vessels for global capitalism, but the means through which Pei's team exercised their urban commitment and imagination in the formation, expansion, and projection of Singapore's urban core, and all these within the parameters of a country's calculated pragmatism of guarding and capitalizing on its very limited land resource. So as one of the five key sites developed from the second sale of sites at Singapore's central area in 1968, three years after Singapore's independence, Pei's first built project in Singapore, which is the OCBC, could be considered as being delivered in service of the governmental financial machinery. The sale of sites program was carried out by the urban renewal department, offering state land through public tender to the private sector for development. It was a result of the UN Town Planning Committee's recommendation to encourage private sector's participation in the redevelopment of the central area into a quote, "vibrant and modern commercial center," unquote. The development of OCBC represents the success of the program, which affirmed the government's plan to open up the central area, later called the Golden Shoe financial district for its quote, "proper economic role by reflecting its high real estate value," unquote. So you can see there in the rectangle is where OCBC is meant to be under the second sales of site. Simultaneously, in line with the nation's ambitions, of OCBC's chairman, Tianjin [? chuan ?] Pei's family friend, invited Pei to redesign OCBC's new headquarter to reflect the bank's larger ambitions as Southeast Asia's leading bank, as well as to attract office tenants and customers with its imposing banking hall. So Pei conceived of a twin core design built by spanning two freestanding cores with steel trusses that allowed for three 15-story buildings to be stacked on top of each other and constructed simultaneously, even while the floors below were incomplete. The design not only allowed a column-free banking hall and flexible office space, it met the government's requirement of constructing a 52-story building in two years so as to discourage land hoarding. Similar to Mile High Center and Kips Bay apartment complex, which Pei designed under [inaudible] OCBC was also designed to not occupy the entire site, with a building pushed back from the street to let it stand on a long open plaza where Henry Moore's reclining figure, commissioned by OCBC under Pei's influence was placed. With the building's slender ends facing the neighboring narrow streets while broadly fronting on a major intersection, OCBC asserted itself in a way that could relate to the public realm in a way that most buildings at the financial district did not, as they were largely of a podium and tower configuration with almost 100% site coverage, leaving room for landscaping and public art only at the rooftop or the podium. Upon completion in 1976, OCBC not only marked the boundary of the Golden Shoe it was the guardian of a skyline along the Singapore River, a quote, "symbolic expression of the dynamics of corporate enterprise," unquote, that marked the successful execution of the Golden Shoe, setting the stage for a more ambitious expansion of the CBD. So at the right corner is where OCBC is. And this is the next project. When Raffles City, Pei's second built project in Singapore, opened in 1986, little was known of it as something conceived 17 years before, and four times the size of what was eventually constructed as part of a development by the quasi-government development Bank of Singapore as part of the development by DBS. Only when these were explained by Pei's team in the article, Raffles City, a Shining Example of Controversy, was the project vindicated. This was amidst complaints on its scale, exterior, relationship to its surrounding, and lack of affinity with Pei's signature forms. For if what was master planned as an integrated whole came to fruition, Raffles City would have dovetailed more neatly with the environment. With the development having gone through several alterations-- seven actually-- due to factors such as the 1970s recession, Western hotels late entry as investor, which changed design officers to hotel rooms, one could sympathize with Pei's dismissive remarks of projects in Singapore, even if it was the firm's largest project. Yet beneath the reality of thwarted designs, the project's initial unprecedented nature and scale developed as part of a larger master plan development meant to encompass areas as far as Dhoby Ghaut and Beach Road illuminates a more important reality of the instrumental value of Pei's office in spearheading the city-state's ambitions of expanding the CBD beyond the Golden Shoe amidst vagaries of the market and plan usage. So as Singapore's then largest mixed-use commercial development, Raffles City was envisioned as a city within a city meant to enliven Singapore's urban core as a place of interest beyond banking hours. According to Kellogg Wong, Pei persisted in shopping facilities making up the largest portion of the mix, which included a convention hall, hotels and offices despite the client's initial objection. Pei believed that shopping would ensure traffic and was integral to a successful commercial development. And this was proven in earlier projects that integrated shopping, hotels, and offices under [inaudible],, like the Courthouse Square and Place Ville Marie. In fact, the seven-story shopping atrium was the heart or connecting center of the superblock, and located in what was known as the civic and government zone, framed by the city's oldest landmarks, including Raffles Hotel, the Padang, and St. Andrew's Cathedral. The complex was composed of nine squares turned at a 45-degree angle to the surrounding main roads, with curves and notches that toned down the building's impact at street level. The placement of the lowest building faced Raffles Hotel, while the 73-story Westin Hotel is compensated by being anchored on the broad expanse of the Padang, which was the ceremonial center of colonial Singapore. So more importantly, Raffles City cemented the expansion of Singapore's CBD by stitching the civic and government zone-- I don't know if you can see over there-- which is where Raffles City is, into a more united central area, as planned by the government to increase site values of newly developed and well-serviced office core beyond the Golden Shoe area, while also symbolically heralding the extension of the central area towards Marina South and overall development of Marina Bay. So it brings us to Marina South development study. So while Pei's team continued to build a few more projects in Singapore, I would like to end with the Marina South development study of 1983 to emphasize the instrumentality of the team's proposed master plan in fulfilling the island state's persistent efforts of developing its downtown core and extending it seaward. As a project, it was not listed in the catalog of works in Pei's 2001 monograph, but documented in publications by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which is the URA, the main planning authority in Singapore. The gaps in the representations of this project promise the need to consider Pei's practice beyond how the architect himself perceives it and it's buildable outcome. The Marina South project may have stopped at the built model for Pei's team. Its key features, however, were eventually manifested through the implementation of other multiple players orchestrated by the URA to make Marina Bay as the focal point of a new CBD. Marina Bay is formed by the natural shoreline along Collyer Quay and coastlines of Marina Center and Marina South parcels. And these parcels were reclaimed in 1977 as part of building an expressway that connected the east and the west side of the island, but also with the intention to develop them into a new urban area. As CEO of the housing development board, which is HBD, the government unit in charge of the land reclamation and which housed the urban renewal department, the predecessor of the URA, Liu Thai Ker thought that providing future capacity was not sufficient to create a distinct character and identity that Marina Bay needed, thereby recommending the Ministry of National Development to commission Pei's office to develop a master plan for Marina South. Having practiced as a planner at IM Pei and Partners between 1965 to '69, Liu was aware of Pei's experience in master planning commercial districts with strong civic quality. So Pei's office was known to be very selective in taking on planning projects due to its indefinite outcome. They however, took it on with the assumption that the firm was solely commissioned for the project. The Singapore cabinet, however, required a second alternative proposal which led to a similar commission for Kenzo Tange. So both plans by Pei and Tange were similar in terms of having the waterfront flanked with tall towers. But it was really the main difference between Tange's radial plan, which is on the right, which matched the curve of the east coast parkway, which is a freeway, and Pei's more rectilinear grid plan on the left that was really most indicative of Pei's greater perceptiveness to the government's economically pragmatic twofold goals. Which is firstly, to develop a new downtown core that would achieve an integration with existing areas of the CBD such that they would be eventual elimination of boundaries between the old and the new. And secondly, to allow for flexible land parcelation for development. So Pei's plan was therefore the preferred one over Tange's. The regular shape of land parcels in Pei's grid provided a seamless integration between the grid pattern of the old CBD with the new downtown through a pair of thoroughfares extending the existing grid southward an approach similarly exercised in Pei's Society Hill project in Philadelphia, where his plan created a smooth transition in scale and form from the colonial to the modern part of the town. More importantly, the grid plan allowed a more incremental and flexible process in the development of land parcels, such that the area would look complete at any stage of implementation, whereas Tange's curved design would require most of the land parcels to be developed at the same time to look visually complete. So Pei's team also addressed the equal importance of creating an urban panorama and civic identity for this area. So close to the old CBD, Pei's plan featured a central green axis of an open square, terminating at a promontory with a pair of twin towers, while another promontory was planned at the corner of the rectilinear site. Both were close to the water, meant to visually anchor and frame the new downtown of Marina Bay. Tange's and Pei's proposals were first unveiled to the public in 1984 as part of a ministerial statement on Singapore, City of Excellence, a vision for Singapore by 1999, in key publications, as well, such as the 1989 overall master plan for urban waterfronts, and the 1991 concept plan, Living the Next Lap, Towards a Tropical City of Excellence. The government's preference for Pei's master plan was clearly represented in this publication, but it was not specifically attributed to Pei's office. Unfortunately, in 2003, in line with URA's protocol of constantly reviewing existing plans, the firm SOM was brought in to critique Pei's plan, resulting in the high rises shifted back to leave the water site for low rise development while one promontory was turned to a pedestrian green space, and the other one became the Art Science Museum today. So despite these changes, which could be why the master plan was not even included in Pei's catalog of works, URA in their 2015 publication, A River Transformed, stated the influence of Pei's master plan in laying the foundations for an economically viable and visually arresting Marina Bay. Moreover, the rectilinearity of Pei's plan that shaped the bay has been observed to uncannily mirror the shape of the old Padang. So I kind of circled there, the green rectanglar space, which is the Padang. And this further inscribed the city-state's wish of exceeding or substituting the former colonial space for national ceremonies with the liquid Padang of Marina Bay, which has become-- I guess Marina Bay's the bigger rectangle or square-- which has become the designated stage for the National Day parade, a site for spectating the state, its people, and the city itself. So Pei's plan, even if it's not implemented by the team, was still very much instrumentalized by a centralized structure whose lines of power, finance, activation, and dissemination have willed the transformation of a massive and symbolically important area. So to conclude, I just want to say that Pei was once quoted to say, "if modern design was ever to amount to more than paper architecture, it would have to withstand market forces of supply and demand as assuredly as it withstood gravity." Whether or not this is aligned with Pei's sentiment toward the firm's more commercial projects in Singapore, I hope I've attempted ways of reconsidering Pei's practice in its entanglement with the island state's dynamics of economic aesthetic pragmatism while revealing the firm's active and even accidental engagement with the government's mastery over its resources and agents in creating a built and imagined environment of awe amidst political and economic indeterminacy. Thank you. [applause] Thank you, Shirley. Our last speaker today is Kellogg Wong. And let me just begin by saying how wonderful it is to have a representative who truly captures, let's say, the institutional history of the practice of IM Pei. So Kellogg Wong is currently senior principal at FORM New York. For more than 50 years, he served as associate partner, and now associate partner emeritus, chief administrative architect, and lead designer for a wide range of major projects while affiliated with Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners, and previously, of course, IM Pei and Partners. Numerous projects on which he collaborated with his mentor, IM Pei, have been honored by the AIA, most recently with a 25 Year Award for the Slater House in Washington DC. With Pei, Wong also worked on a wide range of major international projects, including the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, the Everson Museum in Syracuse, and the Fragrant Hill Hotel. More recently, Wong has led work for the capital master plan, and its implementation at the United Nations headquarters in New York, a major new development on Chang'an Avenue in Beijing, and is currently completing a study for the development of sustainable cities. Kellog. [applause] What an act to follow! I'm not going to refer to the drawings too much so as not to divert from my paper. This paper was prompted by a question from the previous speaker about the role of IM Pei's practice in shaping Singapore's urban design and planning efforts through a series of master plan exercises. Singapore is a tiny tropical island measuring only 24 by 18 miles, or roughly 217 square miles, only about 2/3 the size of New York City. It has an English-speaking population consisting of 75% Chinese, 15% Malayan, and 7% Indian, totaling only 2 million people in the late 1960s, or less than a quarter of New York City's population. Singapore came under British rule in the early 19th century, joined the Federation of Malaya 1963, and became an independent nation two years later. Anticipating the withdrawal of the protective British troops by 1971, the island nation was left to survive on its own. In response, it took steps to create a sense of national identity and unity, and to establish stability and economic prosperity by taking full advantage of Singapore's only natural resources, its people and its strategic location. You can see by the mark in there that any marine traffic from Europe to Asia has to pass through Singapore, being a harbor, a major port of call for ships, as I said, between Europe and the Pacific Rim. IM Pei's first visit to the island in 1969 followed soon after by the first of many Pei teams that would work in Singapore over the years. Members of the first team included August Nakagawa, whose name's been mentioned once before, Bernard Rice, my brother, Pershing Wong, and me, the only remaining member left to tell this tale. When we arrived, Singapore, aided by the United Nations, was starting to lay the foundation of its national goals. Our projects were among the first logical steps in that effort. We were immediately struck by Singapore's lush vegetation, the broad expanse of the ship-filled harbor, the barge-jammed Singapore River, with the warehouses reeking with the foul stench of a cesspool, and the open streets and drains and ditches, the so-called canals, that matched the river in aroma. The city was fractured, with no real center except for the clusters of medium height offices and civic buildings at the mouth of the Singapore River. The rest of the cityscape consisted mostly of two and three-story stucco [inaudible] houses. In the first meetings with the city officials we shared the following insights with varying degrees of success. Mr. Pei led off by saying that there was no one-stop shopping in the CBD, or the central business district, to buy shirts and socks. Venturing further, we raised such critical issues as that the Singapore river needed to be cleaned up and the drainage canal covered over. That the proposed elevated coastal expressway needed to be reconsidered as it would block the vista of the sea. That the new and ongoing urban renewal process must retain some of the city's historic fabric. Most important, Chinatown, adjacent to the river that you see here. And that the encroachment of the reclamation would decrease the market value of the existing properties following on some of the Pei projects in Singapore, both planned and executed. Our initial reason for being in Singapore was this modest bank building for the [? chung kao ?] bank, which is privately owned on a very compact site within the financial district. The project was never executed due to a series of bank mishaps. The most logical location for Singapore's commercial re-development was identified by a visiting Hawaiian developer with the specific parcels selected by IM Pei. The half-mile long area included three superblocks totaling 26 acres of underutilized institution land strategically located in the heart of downtown, overlooking the sea and adjacent to the Padang, which was mentioned before, or a tree lined open park, previously a cricket field. In 1969 it was decided to test the site's suitability for development of a massive project embodying the goals of the young nation. The newly founded Development Bank of Singapore joined with the urban renewal department and the National Housing and Development Board in commissioning IM Pei and Partners to undertake a master plan. Charged with writing the project's brief, the architects established the following objectives. To develop the 26-acre site as the centerpiece of a national enterprise that would attract global attention. To present a symbol of national dynamism to the world. To provide in one central location the necessary facilities to encourage tourism, hotels, conventions, shopping, dining, offices, in-town apartments, and entertainment. And offer for the convenience and the enrichment of the lives of the citizens of Singapore. The detailed requirements and the solutions did not be repeated here except to say that from the beginning of the master plan effort in 1969 to its conclusion in 1973, there were many revised schemes as illustrated before and here. Where are we? Ultimately, it was decided to concentrate efforts on a single superblock at the head of the site shown here. Raffles International Center was to provide a new focus of downtown activity in Singapore. In time, it would also have an ever-widening influence on improvements in the immediate CBD district as well as on the nation as a whole. This vision was fulfilled upon the completion of phase one, as will be seen later. In the interim, the largest private bank in Singapore, OCBC, which was mentioned before, submitted the winning design for land where a new headquarters could be built, and sought advice from Mr. Pei in improving the local architect's design. Mr. Pei initially declined on ethical grounds, but relented when he was informed that all of the onerous obligations for the local architect had been met. The completed project by IM Pei as completed by IM Pei, the building set new standards for the others to follow. And it can be seen that even today it holds its own against newer and taller neighbors. Now we are going to touch on Raffles City, which was the first phase of the International Centre. It involved the modification of a completed set of working drawings to satisfy the wishes of a prominent new shareholder, Westin Hotels. The end result was one of the largest single projects in Asia, and at the time, the tallest hotel, at 73 stories, in the world. It was a city within a city and it literally put Singapore on the map. Upon the completion of Raffles City the flag was hoisted and it was just a matter of time to see who would salute. It didn't take long. To quote a Westin executive, "Raffle City was a money cow." Competitors took notice, and just as one service station follows another, rival hotels, office buildings and convention facilities, including Gateway-- these are the same project, by the way, taken from a different angle-- but the Pei office and the International Convention and Exhibition Center by [? zhou ?] and [? mcgowan ?] were shoehorned into the increasingly crowded portion of that portion of the CBD. So Raffles International Centers assigned role as a commercial catalyst was thus realized. In 1975 the Urban Renewal Authority commissioned this master plan to guide the development of available lots in the financial district. Upon the completion of the work we did not track the implementation or determine if any of the suggested guidelines were adopted. But we know that the recommendation of height restrictions were evidently relaxed due, one supposes, to market pressures. The client for this project, United Engineering, wished to appeal for an increase in the allowable plot ratio of its property located at the middle stretch of the Singapore River. Mr. Pei convince them to expand the study of the river all the way to the newly formed Marina Bay in order to illustrate the close proximity of neighboring sites with higher plot ratios. In the absence of published land use plans by the government for the marina, our office took the liberty of suggesting the usages, the configuration, the massing, and locations of major elements, as shown on the model. Significantly, in order to ensure sufficient land for the urban fabric to encircle the city, we suggested, somewhat audaciously, I might add, the widening of an important portion of the just-completed land reclamation, as shown in the yellow circle. The same strip upon which the current Sands Hotel sits. This rendering illustrates the establishment of the sky exposure plane in order to avoid damaging the ambiance of the small river corridor. The recommendation of such urban design guidelines can have profound long term impact on the cityscape as is clear from Paris and Washington DC. To recount the birth of another such intervention I need to take a quick detour from Singapore to Beijing. Upon normalization of the US-Sino relationship in early 1979, I was a member of a small scouting party charged with culling possible hotel sites up and down China's east coast to accommodate an anticipated influx of Western tourists. The list would be later vetted by leading decision makers, including Mr. Pei. Among the mostly unsuitable sites were those that were in too close proximity to the major tourist attractions themselves, as was the case with a possible [inaudible] site located directly north of the Forbidden City. To illustrate my point that no new building should be allowed to encroach over the protective walls of that national treasure, I made a sketch, such as this one, which I handed to our Chinese guide. After the usual briefings with Mr. Pei later in the day, I thought nothing more of it until 35 years later. In 2012, during my retirement, I was invited to Beijing by the urban planner [? james ?] [? zhou ?] regarding a possible project in the second ring road of Beijing. When I asked whether or not there were any height limitations he chided me for not being aware of the IM Pei Forbidden City sight line height restrictions. What was I to do? Originally, my script said, what could I do but sigh? But thanks to Dr. Janet Adams-Strong she suggested the following. What was I to do but smile and quietly, and yes anonymously, enjoy the enduring impact of my contribution to Chinese culture? I rather like that better. [laughter] So back to Singapore. Upon the completion of a land reclamation campaign on the southern mouth of the Singapore River-- you saw the slide early on. I'm referring to the site to the left of the drawing. The city invited IM Pei and Partners and Kenzo Tange to submit competing master plans for development. We were disappointed to find that the competition's site plans already included our suggestion for widening the portion of the area-- seen in circle-- that made possible the future Sands Hotel. This is the world's longest infinite pool. Seen at night. Our proposal-- and you've seen this slide also, which is on the left-- concentrated on refining our previous Singapore River study, but deliberately did not extend beyond Marina Bay. The rationale was that the excess land should be withheld from development in a protected land bank to avoid diverting energy from the CBD. Further, it was clear that any long term land use projections would be futile, as future market conditions would invariably prevail. I might add that the city at first thought that they were being cheated, but it turned out to be wise counseling. So not often in the course of a lifetime is one privileged to behold and to contribute to the growth of the nation from its infancy, and indeed in this case, to witness the evolution of that nation into one of the most prosperous, cleanest, safest, most efficient, and courteous in the world, a thriving economy with the largest container port in the world, and also sharing the distinction with Shanghai, the top scholastic rating on earth. Of course it took vision, hard work, sacrifice, and more. It took audacity, and yes, chutzpah. Thank you. [applause] Thank you, everybody. I realized we're just a bit after 5:00. But since we don't really have a hard deadline to get out of this space, I want to propose we could still invite the speakers up to the podium. I have just one question I'm dying to ask the speakers, and then I'm hoping to open it up to the audience right after that. (WHISPERING) Some beautiful slides [inaudible] [side conversation] So thank you. So the one question I have for the speakers is this issue of Americanism in the interpretation of IM Pei. As we all know, one of the most frequent questions we get asked-- and this has come up several times over the course of last two days-- is, of course, the issue of cultural identity, IM Pei being an Asian-American, a person of Chinese origin practicing in the United States. And with this series of papers, I think it's a really good opportunity to flip this around, Certainly, in the case of Ed Eigen's paper, but I think it's equally valid to consider this in the context of Paris, in the context of Singapore, and in fact, ironically, in the case of Beijing, to what extent he was, in fact, being an emissary of a particularly American mode of architectural practice and bringing them to these foreign lands. So I see this also manifesting in different ways in terms of urban design, whether La Defense, but also that this particular style of architecture, the issue of the great deck of La Defense, and perhaps that being carried out essentially, contemporaneously with what was being done in Singapore in that particular type of urbanism. And thirdly, to circle back to Pei's relationship partnership with Zeckendorf, a developer, and in a sense a very unique situation in really, the history of public housing in the world where the FHA [inaudible] one scheme really left to the private sector to take on the production of social housing, which was really not the case. And particularly in the case of Singapore, I actually want to ask Kellogg and Shirley-- of course, they were engaged in primarily commercial projects. Singapore, of course, is renowned for its commitment to social housing-- and to what extent perhaps, IM Pei was being consulted on even its public housing policy. So with that, I'll leave it to the speakers. I'll let Kellogg answer, because that's something that you, as an insider, you would know. Actually, I cut a portion of my talk in order to make the time limitation. But when I mentioned that there were only four members of the original team, there was actually a fifth member. That person was a graduate from Harvard. He was interviewed directly with Mr. Pei, and he was hired. And after about 2 and 1/2 years, he came to me and said, Kellogg, I have to resign because my country is calling me. And I thought, well, this country must have sponsored him. Tuition is not low here, right? But no, he actually felt it in his heart that he had to go back and help Singapore. And his name Liu Thai Ker. I don't know if he's been here giving you classes or not, but he is the foremost authority on housing. He took public housing from its infancy-- public housing, by the way, was a methodology used by the government to satisfy the impatient working class, and it's very successful. But it's elevated now to the point that private sector has trouble trying to match the public housing. Liu Thai Ker is also a master in town planning. He doesn't do beautiful diagrams. He approaches town planning from a sociological point of view. One of the few public departments that actually had on its staff five sociologists to help determine what works and what does not work. So our office, I understand, now since changed its name from IM Pei and Partners to Pei Cobb Freed that Harry Cobb has indeed gone back to Singapore and had a commission for a housing project, which I'm not at all familiar with. To add that, Liu Thai Ker, in my interview with him, I asked him how was your time at the IM Pei and Partners influence your practice? And I think the main thing that he mentioned was about the connection between the building and the city. So the urban commitment that he picked up from the IM Pei and Partners was the key influence. Because he was basically an architect, and then chief architect, and then became the CEO of HDB. So it was almost a matter of about 10-plus years. Cole? [interposing voices] Well, in your case, I also want to just throw another project to this mix, the US-China Exhibition Center project, which has a very, very different architectural form than, of course, Fragrant Hill. Of course, that was never realized. But to the extent that we have, I think, an accepted narrative that, of course, Fragrant Hill was a great disappointment to IM Pei, and that sort of detached him from China for a very long period until he went back with projects like [? suzhou. ?] When in fact, the US-China exhibition project was in fact ongoing throughout the '80s. Yeah. I mean, I think that one of the things I find so fascinating about Fragrant Hill was it was both a very specific economic project, but also a cultural project of sorts I think, for Mr. Pei. And it also, I think, cuts across the grain of a lot of the themes that have come up over the last two days, this idea of Mr Pei as the great communicator. And yes, this is a project that is sort of fraught, and struggles with miscommunication over the course of the entire length of the building's duration. So with respect to Americanism, I think one of the things that was so appealing to the Chinese government and made figures like Mr. Pei and also Clement Chen, who I showed in the presentation, but also folks like CB Sung, who was a Bay Area-based overseas Chinese businessman who provided a lot of financial capital for the Great Wall Hotel. These were figures who of course, were ethnically Chinese, but they were American and identified themselves as Americans. And so they came with both capital but also expertise, and also a kind of awareness of what America could do in partnership with China as it began to open up. And so that was very crucial to all of these projects. And in terms of cross-cultural or national exchanges, I was very taken by Kellogg's last line of his text, and I had to assume that Pei would have learned chutzpah from Bill Zeckendorf. [laughter] Which says a lot. And as a hyphenated American, it struck me-- I was listening to Delin, and in Cole's talk-- how it hadn't occurred to me at any point in writing this paper to consider Pei as anything but an American architect. And that's very much demanding of interpretation what that might mean. But yeah, I assumed through his formation, his dedication, his practice, that one could situate him within certain discourses where there would be no need to adjudicate, or hyphenate, or establish some other identity from a chief architect practitioner in America. I just want to say a tiny footnote to that, because with regard to the library project-- it's sometimes thought that Pei was the so-called in-house architect of the Kennedy family. And I think that's a very wrong perception. Because here, in terms of cultural residences, John Carl Warnecke was very much what might be called the in-house architect. And there, it depended very much on the Kennedy's kind of cultural sense of familiarity with Warnecke from Kennedy's times at Stanford. So yeah, these things do come up in a particular way. Warnecke's an interesting footnote. He was also a participant in one of the AIA-sponsored tours to China, and was involved in another early Sino-foreign joint venture for hotel. But that project was not built. But he was also in the mix at this time, going back and forth between the US and China. Just parenthetically, [inaudible] generally, speaking of largely under-theorized characters-- [interposing voices] Right, yeah Well, I can only add that as a synthesis of this, it's really interesting how we've seen now three cases of sort of jump starting real estate. The Parisian case, we could say it doesn't really succeed. I mean, there is more of a resistance to it. There is 1968, of course, there's the whole urban revolt, which is Paris, and the city really becoming a site of resistance to this kind of Americanism, which is also a cliche, of course. But we could say that Pei does, in a way, incorporate a lot of these cliches of just being say, an agent of real estate capital, with these many, many projects that we don't even know anymore. It's not like his museums, and the sort of early work. But that we can say that Pei has really served as the author to localize capital in locales such as Singapore, such as in China with the necessary cultural uber [? bao ?] a cultural, we could say, decorum to qualify his intervention. And to also, we could say, elevate certain enterprises. And I would say in the case of Singapore, it's the most crass, and the most just, really-- I'm sorry to say, but brutal attack on sites. I mean, the way that Pei can actually have the map and say, oh, I'd like to do this superblock here. Oh, let's do it over here. And you have these wonderful documents of this sort of almost capillary structure of these tiny little neighborhoods, where Pei can just-- I mean, it's incredible the amount of power invested in this agent of, of course, real estate interests in Singapore. But the same thing, of course, would have been the case in Paris, in La Defense. And in that sense, I would say the Pei is sort of an agent of a certain Americanism which has become almost a cliche. But today in many cases in Europe, this is now what Russians and Chinese are doing, the way that they invest in such locales. But Pei, for a very long time, was successful in that. And I would say that is sort of the outcome of this very long heroic career that we've looked at through his cultural commissions this morning and this afternoon. But I'm floored at the sort of omni-presence of this man. And we actually see the same project in Singapore, the Bank of China project, is actually the same project as one of the versions that I showed for La Defense, the two towers with the three-- it's literally the same project with the rounded corners. I mean, these things are just interchangeable. And he's so versatile that he can pull it off. And the architecture's not that bad. It's quite good. Well, one of the differences between Singapore-- [inaudible] --among Singapore and the other cities-- is there anyone here from Singapore? There's hardly anything to guide you, because basically, it only had two clusters of buildings. There's no architecture, and they themselves will tell you there is no culture. And a dictator for 40 years, no? Well, no, he's not a dictator. [interposing voices] It's a guided democracy. Guided. Guided. [laughter] [interposing voices] But Lee Kuan Yew had a vision. And he was smart enough to ally himself with the communists when it was handy in order to fight off the British colonialism. And then as soon as that was not to his advantage, then he pulled out. Yes, he's almost like a dictator. But the Singapore government is very benevolent. It's like a father to the family. You may not like it. I mean, he tells you you have to have your castor oil or do your homework. Singapore-- I didn't get around to saying this, but it has campaigns throughout its history. The fact that I said it was the cleanest, the most courteous, and the smartest-- they were all campaigns. Singaporeans are very sensitive to the fact, for instance, that it was a dirty city. Well, they cleaned it up. Because the prime minister said, we want to clean it up. And in preparation for a visit by the royal family, they put bunting hoarding, fences, all the way from the airport to the hotel. And so as far as the royal family's concerned, it's a beautiful place. You don't see the shanties. Not to mention the fact they have instant trees which grows immediately. I just wanted to mention that if there is a distinct condition in Singapore, it's because of the high awareness of its vulnerability. And that's always the kind of rhetoric that's being used. Like don't be complacent, we are lacking in resources. We are digging down and going up because land is limited. And so I guess that's why the nature or the culture of capitalizing on everything is allowing practice like Pei to plan in such a way that everything could be made sure to be economically viable. So it's a viable strategy, yes. Maybe on that note we could open up to the audience? Yes? We have two in the front. Les and Bill. [laughter] Not from the panel? Well, I'd just like to point out that the United States is a very big country, a north, south, east, west, central. The cultural differences across the United States are huge, and are not all that different from the cultural differences between the United States and China. In my experience, IM Pei, which I've known only from his later years, is an very American guy. And I'll ask the question. If I were titling this, I would have changed power to politics, which is on the edges of all these papers, but not as explicit as it might be. And I wondered if the extent Pei's firm is prepared-- sociologists are one thing, I would have hired five political scientists, given these projects. And I wondered to the extent that's explicit within the architecture? This may be a little bit of a toss away, but in terms of the cultural loading of a term of nationalism-- when IM was doing the Louvre, he was called a Chinese-American. And when they were angry with him, they would call him an American Chinese. [laughter] I mean, if I could just say a couple things. Rather than focusing on the issue of geopolitics, or systems of regime engaging in political science, actually, I do want to tune it back to what we were talking about yesterday evening in this framework of professional practice. I mean, when I think of this appeal of Americanism, I do think it's useful to point out the particular organizational culture or structure of a firm like Pei Cobb Freed or IM Pei and Partners, and what that presented to all of these situations. Whether it's to Singapore, or whether it's to Paris, whether EPAD, or whether it is to Beijing, that they somehow had the know-how, that they had the expertise, they had the knowledge, they had this depth of ability to deliver a certain mode of development, of construction, of design that was in fact, appealing to all of these clients. Certainly, yeah. Well, I mean, the whole rationale for the joint venture structure and relationship was not only so that a foreign firm could be sponsored by an equivalent Chinese design institute, but so the members of that design institute could learn and acquire knowledge from their foreign partners. And in fact, I wasn't able to get into it in the paper, but a [? wong ?] [? tien ?] [? shi ?] was a Chinese architect who was actually brought onto the Pei team, and flown to New York, and spent time in the New York office. Kellogg, you may have known him. And so he was there as an active participant of Pei's team with the understanding that ultimately, he would go back to work within the design institute. So that operational mechanism was very much rooted in the goal of exchange, yeah. Hi. So first, thank you very much for the presentations. They were all very inspiring. So I'm particularly interested in the Fragrant Hill Hotel project. And it has a very strong expression of historicism, which is very, very different from other of Pei's projects. And it also reminds me of the earlier presentation by Lai Delin about how the expression of time in the metaphor of history in China as a continuity. But it struck me, because at that moment of building the Fragrant Hill Hotel under that kind of political circumstance where at that point, the Chinese government, the Communist Party was very much projecting forward. Whereas IM Pei is literally thinking backwards, thinking to the past. I was wondering if, Cole, you have some insights about why at that moment, IM Pei is not afraid of this kind of expression, and very unique or very strongly demonstrated in that project. And also, for other presenters, I wonder if there is-- maybe not on the same level-- but as much subtle historicism or continuity expressed in his other projects that we just never really identified or recognized? Thank you. I can start. I think certainly, for Mr. Pei, that look back was both a personal and a political mission of sorts. He obviously, I think, was excited and incredibly engaged by the opportunity to go back to China, and to produce a model, a paradigm that could be used for future development. So he was looking back to go forward in some ways. So maybe it is a kind of emblem of that present perfect that Delin was trying to theorize. Unfortunately, for the legacy of the Fragrant Hill Hotel, of course, the Chinese government was not wanting to look back, right? The whole design process had occurred eight years after culture was almost annihilated through the Cultural Revolution. And so this idea that suddenly, the government would pivot 180 degrees and then look back was an incredibly sensitive proposition. I mean, over the course of the '80s, you do see a discourse develop about re-engaging with the past, and kind of reinvigorating and rejuvenating China's traditions. And the Fragrant Hotel was seen as an early step in that direction. But the disconnect between that look to the past, on one hand, and look to the future, was very much I think at the core of the controversy that's kind of dogged the whole project from its beginning, yeah. Miss-- I'm sorry. Mr. Pei felt that he had a personal obligation to the future of Chinese architecture. Here's a person who obviously, has studied and lived in China, and understood the philosophy. He saw what was not being done, what is being done incorrectly, following the Russian mode. And because he is a person who appreciates his tradition, his background, his upbringing, he felt that China as a nation has a long, long civilization, that there was no need to copy the Western mode of expression. That there was plenty of historic examples to use as influence. And so he was trying with this one project to illustrate-- not for you to follow, exactly, but go back to your history, learn from it. Look at what the Japanese have done, you know? They've not lost their history. But I personally think that it's almost an impossible task. For you to develop your own architecture style, it means that you have to be isolated. That if you have nothing but concrete to work with, you would perfect that concrete method of construction to the n-th degree. But if all of a sudden, you turn on the TV and you see someone using tent fabric, or three-dimensional printing, very quickly, you want to catch up. And that's what's happened in China. So I think IM's hope for China, it's a difficult, difficult task to follow. And then Janet, it's fast approaching 5:30. So the two, and then we should-- I just wanted to say that in terms of Fragrant Hill, this was an intensely personal experience for IM. And it was perceived stateside as post-modernism. And it was profoundly disturbing. It was completely misunderstood. Thank you. Perhaps, but I think that it opened up was the idea that typology could be an active study in terms of culturalizing intervention that had especially to do with housing. And I was interested in the question before on housing. But I'm also interested in hearing from Kellogg and Shirley, I think, because this is a very important question. We see these huge towers that have very little relationship to what is going on on the ground. And I'm wondering how that was studied. Like, how the land use was studied, how the forms of the buildings were studied, if typical housing conditions were brought in to the design of the units. Anything that might help us understand the differences between the towers and what was on the ground. I think it's a fair question in this Americanism, to understand the relationship and lack thereof on how that is studied. It's certainly something that I would advocate to my own students. So I think it's a fair question here. The projects that I brought up were largely commercial office buildings, not housing, per se. Even the ones that were at Marina Bay, to my understanding, were fronting the waterfront, were deliberately for commercial purposes, not so much housing. So I brought up the OCBC example, a very, very small intervention. I'm not covering the entire site, just to leave that slender piece of land. Just to even put a sculpture, that sort of thing is already like one intervention. Because the natural stance would be to maximize everything, basically. So I think that that's all I can say about how it's not so much about-- I mean, he did think about the ground, and its relationship to public realm, and how people access a building. But I think, depending on the parameters, were just like limited, I guess. I didn't have a chance to explain all of the schemes that were shown. There were at least 10 or 12 different master plans. And the so-called 100% site, the site that was eventually develop as Raffles City-- in order for you to get a return on your investment on the land cost, and in order to meet the programmatic requirement of the nation of creating a symbol that represents what the nation was trying to achieve, you have to have commercialism. You have to have hotels. You have the convention centers. The sites behind phase one were meant to be offices, and then in town, apartment buildings. But the market never called for it. No one wishes to put up apartments that don't have the same return as a commercial project, offices, for instance. That's why you see so many bank buildings on the ground floor here in America, because they can afford the rent. Housing is sort of like a one-shot job. The return is not good on housing. So in Singapore, most of that was left to the public sector, someone like Liu Thai Ker, for instance. Well let's give Sandi the last word. No, I just wanted to-- I think it's appropriate, since we're concluding this very interesting symposium today, to circle back a little bit. In discussing individual projects that my father and his firm was responsible for designing, I think it's very important to reflect on the origins of his practice, which again, goes back to the days of William Zeckendorf. That probably, I think my father would say, was the most important thing to develop the skills that he employed, not just as an architect but as a diplomat, somebody who had the capacity to understand the problem, whether it is the hotel in Fragrant Hill, or the Louvre Museum, is to understand the client, understand what is the problem. And to study it until you have the ultimate, or what he would call sort of the inevitable solution. But I think that he has the tenacity and the skill of somebody who has-- I think somebody has talked about his ability to persuade. He was very, very persuasive. And he understood how to communicate very, very effectively with his client who was paying his wages. But also to the community, or to a government, or to a larger city, he was able to convey to them the importance of what he was doing in each individual case. And they were all very different. But I think that, as I look at his career, what really impresses me is his ability to identify what is the problem, and then through a lot of effort to understand what the problem is, and what is the solution, and then to communicate it very well. So in each of the projects that you have discussed today, I think they all illustrate that great skill. And it goes back to the days when he was working with William Zeckendorf, who, after all, was the leading real estate developer in the United States, who himself had the ambition to transform America. He really saw that there were vast areas of America that he could really influence. And he hired my father, and he said, I'll give you 10% more for every-- the low budget plus 10%. But I want to do something good. I want to do something. And it was enough to inspire my father. And they worked extremely well together. And I think that period-- he worked with him, I think, only for from 1948 until 1954, something like that, seven or eight years before he started IM Pei and Associates. But I think those seven years was absolutely critical to all of the work that followed. And I think it's very important to keep that in mind as you evaluate all of the projects that he did subsequently for the knowledge, the skill, the persuasive qualities that I think he demonstrated thereafter. So that's what I wanted to say. Thank you very much. On that note, again, thanks to all the speakers. [applause] [interposing voices] It is a work in progress. And hopefully, we'll see all of you either in person or virtually. In Hong Kong, yes. Come to Hong Kong.


Best Screenplay (1997, 2000)


Boogie NightsPaul Thomas Anderson[1]


Almost FamousCameron Crowe[2]

Best Cast / Ensemble (1998-2002)


Saving Private Ryan[3]


American Beauty[4]


Almost Famous / State and Main[5]


Gosford Park[6]


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers[7]

Best Film Review Website (1999)

Best DVD (2000-2001)

Best DVD Special Features (2000)

Best DVD Commentary (2000)

Best Film Related Website (2000)

Best Art Direction (2002-2003)

designed by Mark Friedberg (production design) Ellen Christiansen (set decoration)
designed by Grant Major (production design) Dan Hennah and Alan Lee (set decoration)

Best Costume Design (2002-2003)

designed by Sandy Powell
designed by Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor

Best Sound (2002-2003)

designed by Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek
designed by Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek

Best Visual Effects (2002-2003)

designed by Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook and Alex Funke
designed by Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook and Alex Funke


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