César Pelli, Argentine architect behind the Petronas Towers, dies aged 92

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - César Pelli, the Argentine designer behind the iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, has died aged 92, state media and officials said on Friday, marking the passing of one of the contemporary architectural greats.

Pelli, who grew up in Argentina and studied architecture at the University of Tucumán in the country's far northwest, established himself as a visionary and educator, making a name for himself in the United States where his main studio was based.

Argentina's Telam state news agency reported his passing on Friday, as did the governor of Tucuman province, where Pelli grew up and spent his formative years.

"With much regret we receive the sad news of the death of the great Architect César Pelli," the region's governor, Juan Manzur, said in a post on Twitter. "I want to convey my condolences to his whole family, his friends and his team."

"He was without doubt a creator and his legacy will endure forever in each of his works."

In 1977, Pelli became dean of Yale University's School of Architecture and founded Cesar Pelli & Associates, according to a biography on the website of the New Haven, Connecticut-based studio, since renamed Pelli Clarke Pelli, which lists offices in New York, Abu Dhabi, San Francisco, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Along with the Petronas Towers, at the time the tallest buildings in the world, Pelli's famous works include the World Financial Centre in New York, Canary Wharf Tower in London and renovation work on New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Reuters could not immediately reach his firm for comment.

Argentine energy giant YPF, whose headquarters in Buenos Aires was designed by Pelli, said he had "left his mark with his magnificent works in Argentina and the world.

"A true ambassador of Argentine talent. Until always maestro."

(Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Hernan Nessi; Editing by Leslie Adler)