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César Pelli (born October 12, 1926 in San Miguel de Tucumánmarker, Argentinamarker) is an Argentine architect known for designing some of the world's tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks. His designs are known for their curved facades and metallic elements.

In 1991, the American Institute of Architectsmarker (AIA) listed Pelli among the ten most influential living American architects. His many awards include the 1995 AIA Gold Medal which recognizes a body of work of lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

Perhaps his most famous work are the Petronas Twin Towersmarker, which were for a time the world's tallest buildings. He also designed the World Financial Centermarker complex in downtown Manhattanmarker, which surround the now-fallen World Trade Centermarker.

After studying architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Pelli completed his studies at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignmarker. He started his career in the New Haven offices of architect Eero Saarinen.

He emigrated to the United Statesmarker in 1952 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1964. He married Diana Balmori, a renowned landscape and urban designer. They had two children: Denis, a neurobiologist and Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University and Rafael, also a renowned architect.

Pelli served as dean of the School of Architecturemarker at Yale Universitymarker from 1977 to 1984. His firm employs about 100 architects, designers, and support staff in New Havenmarker, Connecticutmarker.

Pelli wrote a book, "Observations for Young Architects."

In 2007, Duke Universitymarker commissioned him to plan a 20- to 50-year revitalization of its Central Campus.

On 26 May 2008, Yale Universitymarker bestowed an honorary Doctor of Arts degree to Pelli for his work in Architecture.


The Zurich tower, a 20-floor landmark office building in The Hague, Netherlands (1999)


Other famous buildings he has designed include:

Under Construction



  • 1982: "Skyscrapers," Perspecta 18, pp. 134-151.
  • 1984: Introduction to The Second Generation by Esther McCoy (Peregrine Smith Books)
  • 1999: Observations for Young Architects (Monacelli Press)
  • 2002: Foreword to Ralph Rapson: Sketches and Drawings from Around the World by Ralph Rapson (Afton Historical Society Press)


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