by John Sullivan III
At the opening in 1973, I. M. Pei focused his remarks on the significant role the site played in the design solution, noting he was not certain at the outset whether it was viable to place a building on this site which could balance deference with presence, relating to the dramatic landscape and to the historic buildings on the Arts Quad. He said that he no longer had any doubt as to the appropriateness of the solution. It had engaged the site with its interplay of solid and void, and maintained an architectural relationship with the buildings of the Quad through its basically rectangular form.
The Museum was awarded the American Institute of Architects Honor Award in 1975.
Originally published in A Handbook of the Collection (Ithaca: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 1998), 29–40.