A biography of the renowned architect that focuses on six of his signature buildings. Ieoh Ming Pei was born into a world of mandarins and missionaries in war-torn China on April 26, 1917. His mother opened his heart to the rhythms of natural beauty and his grandfather opened his mind to the depth of one's connection to the past, both concepts apparent in his creation of architectural design. Although Pei claims that he does not have a stylistic signature, his buildings are identified by geometric form and minimalist beauty, an integral relationship with their natural surroundings and a profound respect for the past while exceeding the needs of those who utilize them. His architectural sensibilities and achievements have made Pei one of the premier architects of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Pei once explained his approach as requiring 'a full understanding of the three essential elements: time, place, and purpose, to arrive at an ideal balance. This book tells the conflict-ridden stories behind six of Pei's most celebrated buildings, all turning points in his distinguished career. Each story follows Pei on his journey from his search for design inspirations, through the trials of construction, to the finished project. -- from Book Jacket.