Chien Chung (Didi) Pei

Chien Chung (Didi) Pei


1946 – 2023

Founding Partner, Pei Partnership Architects

Chien Chung (Didi) Pei earned a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Physics from Harvard College in 1968 and graduated in 1972 from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design with a Master’s Degree in Architecture. As the middle son of I.M. Pei, he was taught the vision, commitment and professional standards essential to the creation of significant and lasting architecture during his formative years.

Prior to founding Pei Partnership Architects in 1992 with his brother, Li Chung (Sandi), C.C. Pei spent the first 20 years of his professional career contributing to many of I.M. Pei and Partners’ most celebrated projects, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (1978) and the Grand Louvre in Paris (Associate Partner for Design + Administration, 1992). There, he developed nationally recognized expertise in museum architecture and medical facility design.

He served as Designer-in-Charge of the West Wing extension and renovation of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (1981, 1986). Other museum/cultural projects to which he contributed include the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library in Massachusetts (1979) and the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Luxembourg (2006). He was also Designer-in-Charge for the Fragrant Hill Hotel in Beijing (1982), the Mount Sinai Hospital Guggenheim Pavilion (1989) and the Kirklin Clinic in Birmingham, AL (1992).

Mr. Pei continued to maintain his presence in the health care domain. He completed two projects at Mount Sinai Hospital: neurosurgery operating rooms and the Martha Stewart Center for Living, a 7,800-square-foot outpatient geriatric wellness center. He led the PPA team that prepared the Master Plan for the UCLA South Campus and was Partner-in-Charge of the one-million-square-foot Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center that completely replaced the existing hospital badly damaged by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. He was awarded the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor, in recognition of his enduring contribution to that institution.

He was Partner-in-Charge of both the Bank of China Head Office Building in Beijing, China (2001) and the extension to the corporate headquarters of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, which opened to the public in March 2011. He completed the executive offices of a well-known company on the West Coast in 2003 and led the design of the Guanajuato State Library in Leon, Mexico in 2006, a project which was recognized with the 2009 AIA/ALA Library Building Design award. C.C. Pei also directed the design of the new chancery building for the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Washington, DC which was completed in 2008 and the Suzhou Museum, designed in collaboration with I.M. Pei, which opened to international acclaim in 2006. In 2010, the Jianfu Palace Garden restoration, executed in conjunction with Tsao & McKown Architects, received a Citation for Design from the New York State division of the American Institute of Architects.

C.C. Pei was Partner-in-Charge of the Museum of Islamic Art Park in Doha, Qatar, which opened to the public in 2012. The nearly 70-acre crescent-shaped Park includes a new pier and plaza as the setting for a monumental vertical steel sculpture by internationally acclaimed American artist Richard Serra. The Park also contains new public facilities such as food kiosks, restaurants, children’s activities and other cultural amenities. Two of Mr. Pei’s projects in China were completed in 2013: the 904,000-square-foot Fortune Center – Qingdao Taishan Real Estate Development as well as a 55,700 square-meter Commodity Exchange Building in Zhengzhou. C.C. Pei’s other recent commissions included a multi-use complex with a museum and boutique hotel in Nanjing, China; a State Guest House Hotel in Chifeng, China; the Château Lynch-Bages winery in Bordeaux, France and an office building along the main avenue, Faria Lima in São Paulo.

Throughout his career, C.C. Pei played an active role in a number of professional and civic organizations including the American Institute of Architects, where he served as Chairman of the Delano-Aldrich Fellowship Committee. He was Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the China Institute in New York City. He was a trustee of the Collegiate School in New York City and served on the Alumni Council of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was frequently called upon to lecture to professional and educational  organizations on architectural design. He has lectured on design topics to local AIA chapters in such places as New York, NY; Jacksonville, FL; Memphis, TN; Salt Lake City, UT; Orange County, CA, Los Angeles, CA; and Vancouver, BC. He has served as a jury member for architectural design awards in many of these same chapters. Mr. Pei lectured at the University of Texas (Austin), the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and Columbia University. He also lectured at the National Gallery of Art and the National Building Museum, both in Washington, D.C. and at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. Internationally, Mr. Pei lectured in China, France, Italy, Mexico, Aruba, England, Brazil and Colombia.

Areas of Expertise

  • Arts & Entertainment

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