Design: Big Yet Still Beautiful

In today's cityscapes, Cesar Pelli's buildings are like dancers among thugs

Cesar Pelli lives and practices architecture in New Haven, Conn., for him the perfect distance from Manhattan: close enough to visit for an afternoon, far enough to experience the New Yorkophile's delight each time he plunges into the city. "Coming down Broadway," Pelli recalls of a recent visit, "I suddenly noticed this burst of golden light up ahead." He smiles his sheepish, civilized grin. "It was this building of mine." Pelli, 64, has designed some of the worthiest large buildings of the past few years: the humpback blue glass Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood; Wall Street's vast, handsome World Financial...

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