Sections through a practice: Cesar Pelli & associates

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Builders of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest building in the world at the date of its completion--though Chicago's Sears Tower stills wins in the "highest occupied floor" category--Cesar Pelli & Associates is one of the world's most important architectural firms today. Established in 1977, the firm is a full-service architectural practice of some 80 persons and 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 throughout the world. Unlike the work of other notable twentieth-century architects, the work of Cesar Pelli is not constrained by a personal style or a signature, as any viewer can ascertain through careful consideration of his built structures. Rather, each project is designed in keeping with its intentions and specificities--hence the Islamic-influenced geometrically polygonal plan of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia (and its 32,000 windows!). Sections thru a Practiceoffers a unique analysis of the diverse and significant work of Cesar Pelli & Associates, recipient of the American Institute of Architects' 1989 Firm Award and 1995 Gold Medal. With an approach conceived by Bruce Mau Design, the book draws upon the firm's entire body of work, including its innovative and collaborative approach to the design process, to reveal themes that cross in multiple and distinct directions. By describing a series of these themes, the shape of the firm's practice becomes evident, offering a richer, truer rendering and understanding of the firm's work. Essays by Joseph Giovannini and Hiroyuki Suzuki cover Pelli & Associates' recent work and work in Japan, providing insight into both the firm's current and broad global practice. Photographs of nearly 200 projects, both built and designed, have been filtered by these themes to present a visual coherence and rationale for each.

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About the author (2004)

Joseph Giovannini is an author, critic, and the principal of Giovannini Associates, a New York City design firm. A Pulitzer-Prize nominee, he has written as an architecture critic for The Los Angeles Herald Examiner and The New York Times, and has contributed to The New Yorker, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, and other publications. Giovannini has received numerous writing awards and has lectured widely. He earned his Masters of Architecture at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and has taught at Harvard University, Columbia University, and at the University of Southern California School of Architecture.

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