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 was your best design?
Richard Meier: You know I like them all, and I go back to places that I’ve worked on 10 or 20 years ago I haven’t been for the last 10 years, and I say, “This is really nice.” It’s like a long lost relative that you visit again. But I guess the place which, you know, stands out probably is the Getty Center, because I go up there and I can see how all the trees that I planted have grown; how the places that you’re . . . It feels like it’s been there for a long time, and yet people are walking around looking at everything as though it’s brand new. It’s an extraordinary place. It still gets huge numbers of visitors that come not only for the exhibitions, but for the amazing library that’s there, and for the environment of the gardens; the relationship of the interior spaces to exterior spaces ___________. People love it, going there, and I love going there myself.
Recorded on: 9/17/07