view all images ( of 6 shown)

Male, born 1926-10-26, died 2019-07-19

Associated with the firms network

Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall (DMJM); Gruen Associates; Gruen, Victor, Associates; Pelli, Cesar and Associates, Architects; Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; Swatt and Stein, Architects; Swatt Architects

Professional History


Director of Design, OFEMPE, (Argentinian governmental organization), Tucumán, Argentina, 1950-1952; Project Designer/Associate Architect, Eero Saarinen and Associates, Bloomfield Hills, MI, 1954-1964; for Saarinen, he assisted on the Morse and Stiles Residential Colleges (1961) at Yale University, New Haven, CT, and TWA Terminal (1962) at Idlewild (later John F. Kennedy) Airport in New York, NY.

Director of Design, Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall (DMJM), Los Angeles, CA, 1964-1968; Partner for Design, Gruen Associates, Los Angeles, CA, 1968-1977. Pelli moved to New Haven, CT, in 1977 to assume his position as Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University. While here, he started his own private practice on the East Coast.

Principal, Cesar Pelli and Associates, New Haven, CT, 1977-2005; Partner, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New Haven, CT, and New York, NY; in 2011, the New Haven Office was at: 1056 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510, tel: 203.777.2515; New York Office: 322 8th Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001; tel: 212.417.9496.

Partner, Pelli Clarke Pelli, Architects, New Haven, CT, 2005-2019.


Visiting Professor, University of Tucumán, Tucumán, Argentina, 1960.

William B. and Charlotte Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professor, School of Architecture, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1972;

William Henry Bishop Visiting Professor, School of Architecture, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1974.

Visiting Professor, School of Architecture, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Westwood, Los Angeles, CA, 1975-1976.

Dean, School of Architecture, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1977-1984.

Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1999.

Professional Activities

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Southern California and New York Chapters.

Pelli was the author of the book, Observations for Young Architects, (New York: Monacelli Press, 1999).

Professional Awards

Design Award, Progressive Architecture, DMJM project, 1966.

American Institute of Architects (AIA), Southern California Chapter, Honor Awards, Los Angeles, CA,1968, 1969, 1975 (2), 1976;

Recipient, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize, New York, NY, 1978.

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1980.

Member, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY. 1982.

Recipient, Connecticut Commission on the Arts Award, 1988.

Recipient, AIA, Firm Award, 1989.

Honorary Doctorate, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (UNT), Tucumán, Argentina, 1989.

Member, National Academy of Design, New York, NY, 1990; Honorary Doctorate, University of New Haven, New Haven, CT, 1990; Honorary Doctorate, Pratt Institute, New York, NY, 1990; Recipient, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Gold Medal, 1995; Recipient, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, for the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2004. Honorary Doctor of Arts for work in Architecture, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 05/26/2008.


Dipl. Arch., University of Tucuman, Tucuman, Argentina, 1944-1949; M.S., Arch., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL, 1952-1954;


Born in Tucuman, Argentina, Pelli came to Champaign-Urbana, IL, to attend the University of Illinois in 1952. Upon graduation, he obtained employment with Eero Saarinen and Associates, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and then with DMJM in Los Angeles, in 1964. Pelli underwent naturalization in 1964. He moved to New Haven, CT, to become Dean, School of Architecture, Yale University, from 1977-1984.


Pelli married Diana Balmori (1932-2016), a noted urban and landscape historian and landscape designer in 1950.


Two children: Denis who became a neurobiologist and Professor at New York University and Rafael, who became an architect and partner of his father's.

Associated Locations

  • Tucuman, Tucuman Argentina (Architect's Birth)
    Tucuman, Tucuman Argentina

    OpenStreetMap (new tab)
    Google Map (new tab)
    click to view google map
    The City of Tucuman is known formally as San Miguel de Tucumán.

PCAD id: 736

Biennale de Venezia, Suburban Alternatives Exhibition, Venice, Italy1976Venice
Bunker Hill Third Street Tunnel Extension, Los Angeles, CA1967-1968Los AngelesCA
Century City Medical Plaza, Century City, Los Angeles, CA1966
City of San Bernardino, City Hall #4, Carousel, San Bernardino, CA1970-1972San BernardinoCA
Clorox Office Building, Oakland, CAOaklandCA
Commons and Courthouse Center, Columbus, IN1970ColumbusIN
COMSAT Laboratories, Clarksburg, MD1967ClarksburgMD
Daehan Kyoyuk Life Insurance Company, Seoul, South Korea1976Seoul
Del Amo Fashion Center, Ohrbach's Department Store, Torrance, CA1970TorranceCA
Fox Hills Mall, Culver City, CA1974Culver CityCA
KABC-TV Broadcasting Building, Los Angeles, CA2000Los AngelesCA
Kukui Gardens Housing Development, Honolulu, HI1967HonoluluHI
Museum of Contemporary Art at the Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CAWest HollywoodCA
Ohrbach's Cerritos Department Store, Cerritos, CA1971CerritosCA
Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CA1971West HollywoodCA
Plaza Tower, Costa Mesa, CA1992Costa MesaCA
Rainbow Center Winter Garden, Niagara Falls, NY1976-1977Niagara FallsNY
Security Pacific National Bank (SPNB), Branch, San Bernardino, CA1970-1972San BernardinoCA
Sunset International Petroleum Corporation, Sunset Mountain Park Urban Nucleus Project, Santa Monica, CA1965Santa MonicaCA
Teledyne Systems Laboratories, Northridge, Los Angeles, CA1966Los AngelesCA
Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), Transbay Center, San Francisco, CA2010-2018San FranciscoCA
Transbay Tower, South of Market, San Francisco, CA2013-2018San FranciscoCA
United Nations (UN) City Project, Vienna, Austria1969ViennaVienna
United States Government, Department of State, U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, Japan1972
United States Government, Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), Office Building, Lawndale, CA1966-1973LawndaleCA
United States Government, Postal Service (USPS), Post Office, Worldway Postal Center, Westchester, Los Angeles, CA1967-1968Los AngelesCA
University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Physics / Astronomy Building, Seattle, WA1994SeattleWA
Wells Fargo and Company Bank, Headquarters Building, Oakland, CA1972-1973OaklandCA
Western Electric Office Building, Newark, NJ1969NewarkNJ
Yale Music Center Project, New Haven, CT1974New HavenCT