When I.M. Pei's Grand Louvre in Paris was first completed in 1989, it was denounced as a modernist insult to its historic location, the 800-year-old Grand Palais. But 27 years later, the 71-foot-tall glass pyramid has become as treasured as the artwork it houses. In an announcement today, the AIA announced the Grand Louvre - Phase I project as the 2017 Twenty-Five Year Award recipient.
The Twenty-Five Year Award distinguishes a building that has gracefully stood the test of time over the last 25-35 years. Chaired by LMN Architects' Mark Reddington, the 2017 jury selected the project that best “demonstrate[s] excellence in function, in the distinguished execution of its original program, and in the creative aspects of its statement by today’s standards.” The nine-person jury also included Adrian Smith, Timothy J. Johnson of NBBJ, and William Q. Sabatini.
The Grand Louvre was executed in two phases over the course of a decade. In Phase I, Pei built the pyramid and reorganized the museum around the central Cour Napoléon, transforming it from a parking lot into the public space it is today. One award juror noted the Grand Louvre as “an example of the prowess and legacy of I.M. Pei”. The project will be honored during the 2017 AIA National Convention in Orlando.
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