BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – I.M. Pei has died. The famed modernist architect designed Boulder’s Mesa Laboratory, which houses the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He also contributed to the design for Denver’s 16th Street Mall.

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Ieoh Ming Pei was perhaps best known for designing the iconic glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris in the 1980s. The native of China was the first foreigner to work on the re-development of the Louvre in its long history.

Architect I.M. Pei (credit: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Pei wore signature round-rimmed glasses and was known for his ability to schmooze effectively with political and business leaders. He passed away at the age of 102 early Thursday morning.

(credit: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The design for the Mesa Lab was inspired by the ancient cliff dwellings built by Ancestral Puebloans that can found in Mesa Verde National Park and other places in the Four Corners area of Colorado. The wall color of the lab is similar to that of the Flatirons which the building sits close to.

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“We’re mourning and saluting I.M. Pei,” staff at NCAR tweeted. “He designed the NCAR Mesa Lab — an amazing place to come to work every day. The world will miss your brilliance and your smile.”

The New York Times calls NCAR, which was built in the 1960s, one of Pei’s most important buildings.

NCAR’s Mesa Lab is open for public tours. Get more information at NCAR’s Visitor Center website.