The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected The Grand Louvre – Phase I as the recipient of the 2017 AIA Twenty-five Year Award. Designed by I.M. Pei with his firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the project is notable for its 71-foot-tall glass and stainless steel pyramid, which according to the AIA, “now rivals the Eiffel Tower as one of France’s most recognizable architectural icons.”
The award is presented annually to a project that has "stood the test of time by embodying architectural excellence for 25 to 35 years."
“Greeted with hostility and derided as a Modernist affront when it was first proposed as the main entrance to Paris’ Musée du Louvre, the project was born of President François Mitterrand’s quest to modernize the Louvre in the early 1980s,” commented the AIA. “Pei’s pyramid thrust the 800-year-old Palais complex into the modern era while simultaneously making the museum more accessible to larger crowds. To execute the project, Pei wove together an unprecedented amount of cultural sensitivity, political acumen, innovation, and preservation skill.”
This year’s jury for the award included: Mark Reddington, FAIA (Chair), LMN Architects; Gregory P. Baker, AIA, HNTB Architecture; David Cordaro, AIAS Representative; Leslie K. Elkins, FAIA, Leslie K. Elkins Architect; Timothy J. Johnson, AIA, NBBJ; William Q. Sabatini, FAIA, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini; Adrian D. Smith, FAIA, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Beatrice Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA, Rothschild Doyno Collaborative and Marilyn Terranova, PhD, Interim Superintendent, Pocantico Hills CSD.
News via AIA.