Stone World

BSI honors excellence

July 11, 2004
NEW HAVEN, CT -- The Building Stone Institute (BSI) has named Cesar Pelli, FAIA, the 2004 recipient of the James Daniel Bybee Prize.

Named after the late James Daniel Bybee, a long-standing member of the BSI, the Bybee Prize is awarded to an individual architect for a body of work executed over time and distinguished by outstanding design and use of natural stone.

Cesar Pelli was born in Argentina, where he earned a Diploma in Architecture from the University of Tucuman. He first worked as a project designer in the offices of Eero Saarinen. After this apprenticeship, he was Director of Design at DMJM, and later, Partner for Design at Gruen Associates, both in Los Angeles.

In 1977, Pelli became Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture, and also founded Cesar Pelli and Associates. He resigned his post as dean in 1984, but continues to lecture on architecture. Since the firm's establishment, Pelli has personally originated and directed the design of each of its projects.

Pelli has avoided formalistic preconceptions in his designs. He believes that buildings should be responsible citizens and that the aesthetic qualities of a building should grow from the specific characteristics of each project such as its location, its construction technology and its purpose.

In searching for the most appropriate response to each project, his designs have covered a wide range of solutions and materials.

Some of his more exceptional designs with natural stone include: The World Financial Center, New York; NTT Headquarters, Tokyo; The U.S. Courthouse, Brooklyn; and the Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati, OH.

Pelli received the Bybee award on May 21, 2004 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL. The award presentation was accompanied by a special retrospective look at his work.

Founded in 1919, the BSI is an international trade association which includes as its members the leading natural stone quarries, fabricators, dealers, importers, exporters, installers and restorers of all types of natural stone.