Petronas Towers architect Cesar Pelli dies | News | DW | 20.07.2019
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Petronas Towers architect Cesar Pelli dies

Argentine-American architect Cesar Pelli — the creator of several of the world's tallest towers — has died at the age of 92. The designer of Malaysia's Petronas Towers, Pelli leaves a legacy that spans continents.

Cesar Pelli's family and colleagues announced his death on Saturday, prompting tributes from the world of architecture and beyond.

One such accolade came from Argentine President Mauricio Macri. "The works he leaves throughout the world as a legacy are a pride for all Argentines," Maccri tweeted.

Perhaps the best-known of Pelli's works are the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which stand at 452 meters (1,482 feet) and were considered the world's tallest building when completed in 1998.

Among his earlier works of note was the World Financial Center shopping center and office complex in New York City.

Pelli also designed the International Financial Centre, which soars over the waterfront of Hong Kong, and the Torre Santiago in Chile.

Malaysia Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur (picture-alliance/FOTOGRAMMA/M. Alberico)

The twin edifices of the Petronas Towers were built to house the headquarters of Malaysia's national petroleum company

Futuristic visionary

Born in the state of San Miguel de Tucuman in Argentina's far northwest, Pelli studied on a scholarship at the University of Illinois School of Architecture and settled in the US while still in his 20s.

Pelli became known for his futuristic designs, working on relatively large projects that included a terminal at JFK Airport in New York, and established himself as a visionary relatively early in his career.

He would go on to be dean of Yale's architecture faculty, but it was after founding his own firm that most of his greatest achievements were realized.

Pelli was named among the 10 most influential living architects by the American Institute of Architects in 1991.

His last project was San Francisco's Salesforce Transit Center, a transport hub that blended green space and shopping areas, underneath the city's tallest skyscraper.

rc/cmk (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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