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Growing up just west of the Andes Mountains in the small town of Tucumán in northwest Argentina, Cesar Pelli wasn’t exposed to the vibrant cityscapes that he today helps to shape. He got his start designing low-cost, affordable housing for the Argentine government, which helped him develop an appreciation for each project’s unique sense of place. Breaking from the traditional mold of many world-famous architects, he designed buildings as a response to their neighborhoods, not as a preconceived signature aesthetic.
Now, with a long list of acclaimed international projects to his name, Pelli is lauded for creating structures that honor a city’s history and enrich the local landscape. And here in New York City, home to some of his most celebrated works, the Pelli mark has making an indelible impression on the architecture and real estate fields.
After graduating from the University of Illinois’ School of Architecture at Urbana-Champaign, Pelli landed a job working for Eero Saarinen, where he served as project designer on assignments such as the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport. He also worked for Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall, as well as Victor Gruen, both based in Los Angeles.