Richard Meier is one of the foremost contemporary American architects. In 1984 at the age of 49, Meier was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as the Nobel of architecture. He was the youngest architect to receive the profession's highest accolade. Meier is known for resisting trend-based designs, instead developing his own design philosophy rooted in rationalism and noted for its use of the color white. His designs can be seen as Neo-Corbusian, referencing the famous French architect's early phase in particular. Meier has also named Frank Lloyd Wright as another major influence. Perhaps his most famous design is The Getty Center, a Los Angeles art museum funded by the J. Paul Getty trust. Meier was born in Newark, New Jersey, and educated at Cornell University.
Question: What do you do?
Richard Meier: I’m an architect.I mean how else would you describe it?The joy is seeing it finished. The joy is seeing people using the building; seeing them enjoying being there; seeing their response to uniqueness of the place. And we have many projects here that are extraordinary drawings and beautiful models that are not realized. And for me that’s the saddest thing because the joy is the realization. The struggle is getting it realized. The struggle is dealing with a myriad of people that sometimes come and go during a building process. I’ve been involved in many, many projects where the only person who’s there from the beginning to the end is the architect. The other people who have prominent positions in the decisions that are made aren’t there to see what those decisions cause, and how they affect what is finally built.
Recorded on: 9/17/07