Cesar Pelli & Associates (now Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects) is a full service architectural practice that has worked with corporate, government and private clients to design major public spaces, museums, airports, laboratories, performing arts centers, academic buildings, hotels, office and residential towers and mixed-use projects. The firm carefully limits the number of commissions it accepts to ensure a high degree of personal involvement by the Principals.
Cesar Pelli established Cesar Pelli & Associates in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1977, following his appointment as Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University and after an already distinguished architectural career. Additionally, Fred Clarke, also a founding member of the firm, became a Principal in 1981. In 1993, Rafael Pelli became a Principal. And in 2000, a New York office was established.
Cesar Pelli & Associates seeks to produce the best possible building for each circumstance. The work of Cesar Pelli is not constrained by a personal style or a signature that would limit his architecture; instead, it tries to celebrate the unique characteristics of each project. With this approach, the firm has designed several exceptional buildings in the United States and abroad. These projects include the World Financial Center in New York City; Canary Wharf Tower in London; North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte; Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College; Aronoff Center for the Arts in Cincinnati; NTT Headquarters in Tokyo; Petronas Towers (formerly the world’s tallest building); Dewan Filharmonik Hall in Kuala Lumpur; and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Osaka, Japan.
The American Institute of Architects awarded Cesar Pelli & Associates its 1989 Firm Award in recognition of standard-setting work in architectural design.
Cesar Pelli, the architect behind the design of the Schuster Center, avoids formalistic preconceptions in his designs. He believes buildings should be responsible citizens, and the aesthetic qualities of a building should grow from the specific characteristics of each project – its location, construction technology and purpose. In the search for the most appropriate response to each project, his designs have covered a wide range of solutions and materials.
With the Schuster Center, the goal was to make a strong statement that Dayton is a city moving into the future. In a 1999 interview with the Dayton Daily News, Pelli called the Schuster Center’s design “an exclamation point for Dayton!”
Mr. Pelli was born in Argentina, where he earned a Diploma in Architecture from the University of Tucuman. He first worked in the offices of Eero Saarinen, where he served as Project Designer for several buildings, including the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport in New York and Morse and Stiles Colleges at Yale University. After this apprenticeship, he was Director of Design at DMJM and, later, Partner for Design at Gruen Associates, both in Los Angeles.
In 1977, Mr. Pelli became Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture and also founded Cesar Pelli & Associates. He resigned his post as Dean in 1984, but continues to lecture on architecture. Since the firm’s establishment, Mr. Pelli has personally originated and directed the design of each of its projects.
Mr. Pelli has written extensively on architectural issues, including the 1999 book Observations for Young Architects, published by Monacelli Press. His work has been widely published and exhibited, with eight books and several issues of professional journals dedicated to his designs and theories. He has received nine Honorary Degrees and more than 100 awards for design excellence. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy of Design, the International Academy of Architecture, and l’Academie d’Architecture de France. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded Cesar Pelli the 1995 Gold Medal, which recognizes a lifetime of distinguished achievement and outstanding contributions.