The clean, chiseled forms of the Museum of Islamic Art have a tranquillity that distinguishes it in an age that often seems trapped somewhere between gimmickry and a cloying nostalgia. Part of the allure may have to do with I. M. Pei, the museum's architect.
Photo: Museum of Islamic Art
Students look at a ceramic cenotaph from Central Asia that is part of an exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art. The Museum of Islamic Art's design is rooted in an optimistic worldview that the past and the present can co-exist harmoniously. Its ideals are a throwback to a time when America's overseas ambitions were still cloaked in a progressive agenda.
An interior view of the museum’s atrium dome and oculus. "Contemporary architects tend to impose modernity on something," he said in an interview. "There is a certain concern for history but it's not very deep. I understand that time has changed, we have evolved.But I don't want to forget the beginning. A lasting architecture has to have roots."
Since that popular triumph Mr. Pei has often seemed to take the kind of leisurely, slow-paced approach to design that other architects, no matter how well established, can only dream of.
New York Times