The first phase of an immensely ambitious project aiming to transform five blighted building blocks near the heart of Newark’s business district into an education center with adjacent middle and low-income housing has just been completed. It also happens to be Newark native Richard Meier’s first project in his hometown.
Richard Meier & Partners
By Jakob Harry Hybel
Few architects have retained such an uncompromising style throughout a more than five-decade-long practice, as Richard Meier. His snow-white facades with expansive windows, light-filled interiors, dynamic plays of interlocking geometries and a fine balance of solid and void have become his unmistakable trademarks.
Newark, New Jersey-born Richard Meier, received his Bachelor in Architecture from Cornell University in 1957 and took jobs with Skidmore Owings and Merrill and Marcel Breuer soon after his graduation, until starting up his own private practice in New York in 1963.
The practice started out primarily designing residential-scale buildings, such as the Douglas House and the Rachofsky House, but the project that would cause his rise to fame was the Getty Center - a complex of sculptural volumes and scattered pavilions on a hilltop site in the Santa Monica Mountains, which took 13 years to complete.
Meier - who, in 1984, at 49, became the youngest solo architect to win the Pritzker Prize - has since then designed primarily large-scale museums and civic buildings, most notably perhaps the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and the furiously debated Ara Pacis Museum in Rome.
Despite his advanced age, the relentlessly productive Meier continues at full speed, most recently completing first stage of the masterplan for Teachers Village, an education center combined with middle and low-income housing - and the first project in his hometown of Newark.
Meier's declared influences are Bernini and Borromini, in part - but also Alvar Aalto, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. This divide between the Roman Baroque and 20th century Modernism goes a long way towards describing Richard Meier's particular architectural style. Sculptural, yet restrained. Classical, yet modern. Timeless in both form and expression.
True to the core product of Italcementi, the new headquarter is a powerful showcasing of various possibilities of concrete. The refined roughness of the concrete, the strong and yet transparent expression and the overall simple aesthetic of the building is an elegant architectural stroke.
The OCT Clubhouse is sited on a prominent island in the middle of the OCT harbor lake.
The design of the Mitikah Office Tower reflects the distinct orientation of the site while addressing requirements of sustainability, maximum efficiency and flexibility.
Villa Gardone is part of a villa ensemble in Gardone Riviera, approximately 300 meters from Lake Garda.
The architectural material palette complements the dramatic interplay of stark architectural forms, light and shadow.
Situated on a podium of prime real-estate overlooking the Sandtorpark, various harbor basins and Hamburg's traditional skyline, the new corporate headquarters for Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG), aptly called Coffee Plaza, acts as an anchor in Hamburg's refurbished harbor.
The glazed public street facade of the Gagosian Gallery blends seamlessly with the existing facade and provides pedestrians a glimpse into the gallery.
As part of the larger ECM City, for which Richard Meier & Partners is serving as master planner, the City Tower presents a striking iconic high-rise for the city of Prague.
The translucent tower walls illuminate the shaft and elevators, with added illumination and hints of views provided by transparent glass slots in the tower walls.
The Dickson Art Center, located on the UCLA campus, was originally constructed in 1964. Housing the Departments of Art and Design, the building incorporates additional space allocated to the Center for the Digital Arts and General Classroom use.
The Ara Pacis Museum, located along the Tiber River, near the Ponte Cavour, on the western edge of the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, is an integral part of the urban context of the Augustean Area.
The new museum for the Frieder Burda Collection in Baden-Baden is designed to be in harmony with the surrounding Lichtentaler Allee Park and to compliment the adjacent Kunsthalle.
The Jesolo Lido Complex, located on the Adriatic Sea in Jesolo Lido, is comprised of Jesolo Lido Village, set inland at the scale of the adjacent residential fabric, and three towers: Jesolo Lido Condominium Tower, Jesolo Lido Residence Hotel Tower, and Jesolo Lido Hotel Tower set on the ocean front.
The parish church for the year 2000 was conceived as a new center for a somewhat isolated housing quarter on the outskirts of Rome.
Recalling Hamburg's Hanseatic mercantile history, the Rickmers Reederei building is a sleek, new headquarters for an international shipping company.
Restaurant 66 offers a new fusion of modern design and haute Chinese cuisine in New York City.
Located in an area that was a previously a monastic enclave, this museum establishes a rigorous dialogue between the area's historic urban fabric and the contemporary art within.
The Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills is located prominently at the corner of North Beverly Drive and Little Santa Monica Boulevard.
The Neugebauer House spans the full width of its wedge-shaped plot to face across Doubloon Bay in the prestigious residential community in Naples, Florida.