Richard Meier's favorite color is white -- the pristine noncolor, or the distillation of all color. He has used white consistently in his pure, geometric sculptures that take in light and bend it or deflect it to create form and space.... [more]
Richard Meier's favorite color is white -- the pristine noncolor, or the distillation of all color. He has used white consistently in his pure, geometric sculptures that take in light and bend it or deflect it to create form and space. Adhering to the purist values of Le Corbusier, Meier creates buildings around internal, poetic logic, each construction a new syllogism derived from the interplay of the basic elements.
Coming to prominence in the late '60s as one the New York-based "Five Architects" who advocated a return to High Modernist principles, Meier has moved from designing homes to overseeing large public projects. Whether small or grand in scale, Meier's structures suggest space itself and the monochromic use of white and the complex geometric patterning creates an overall appearance that is hyper-clean and high-tech. The buildings are conscious of their difference from the natural environment they cleave to -- viewed from the outside they rise like futuristic ships jutting out from their chosen terrains. From the inside they reveal both a love of looking out and a desire for complex volumes which envelop "divine spaces."
The culmination (to date) of Meier's work with interior space and external vistas is the high-profile Getty Center, which sits atop a Malibu cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Serving as an arts and education center for Los Angeles, the Center is a veritable hill town comprised of museums, libraries, theaters, studios, and gardens. Meier's design evolved through a lengthy process of creating ever larger models that allowed him to visualize the interplay of buildings and topography.
In 1984, the year he won the Getty commission, Meier became the youngest member of his field to receive the prestigious Pritzker Prize. In his acceptance speech, Meier said that his architectural aim is to address both "the timeless and the topical," using himself as the aesthetic filter. "This, to me, is the basis of style, the decision to include or exclude, choice, the final exercise of the individual will and intellect. In this way, one might say that my style is something that is born out of culture, and yet is profoundly connected with personal experience." Meier presses the point that it is the eternal questions of architecture that should preoccupy us; architects and styles come and go, while the issues of space and how to shape it for ourselves persist. [show less]