Richard Meier & Partners

happy-birthday-richard-meier-_richard_meier_portrait-_richard_phibbs.jpgRichard Meier. Photo © Richard Phibbs

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.

October 21, 2013 /

Teachers Village
Richard Meier & Partners
Newark, New Jersey, USA

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.

Italcementi i.lab by Richard Meier & Partners in Bergamo, Italy. Night view of Entry Plaza and precast roof. Photo courtesy of Scott Frances
March 06, 2013 /

Italcementi i.lab
Richard Meier & Partners
Bergamo, Italy

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.

OCT Clubhouse by Richard Meier & Partners in Shenzhen, China.
October 08, 2012 /

OCT Clubhouse
Richard Meier & Partners
Shenzhen, China

The OCT Clubhouse is sited on a prominent island in the middle of the OCT harbor lake.

Mitikah Office Tower by Richard Meier & Partners in Mexico City, Mexico.  Rendering.
Image courtesy Richard Meier & Partners
February 13, 2012 /

Mitikah Office Tower
Richard Meier & Partners
Mexico City, Mexico

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 by Richard Meier & Partners in Gardone Riviera, Italy.
Image courtesy Richard Meier & Partners
February 13, 2012 /

Villa Gardone
Richard Meier & Partners
Gardone Riviera, Italy

Villa Gardone is part of a villa ensemble in Gardone Riviera, approximately 300 meters from Lake Garda.

W Retreat Kanai by Richard Meier & Partners in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Exterior aerial view.
Image courtesy
April 25, 2011 /

W Retreat Kanai
Richard Meier & Partners
Riviera Maya, Mexico

The architectural material palette complements the dramatic interplay of stark architectural forms, light and shadow.

Coffee Plaza by Richard Meier & Partners in Hamburg, Germany. Exterior landscape.
Photo: Klaus Frahm
November 01, 2010 /

Coffee Plaza
Richard Meier & Partners
Hamburg, Germany

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.

Gagosian Gallery by Richard Meier & Partners in Beverly Hills, California, USA.
Photo: Joshua White
March 04, 2010 /

Gagosian Gallery
Richard Meier & Partners
Beverly Hills, California, USA

The glazed public street facade of the Gagosian Gallery blends seamlessly with the existing facade and provides pedestrians a glimpse into the gallery.

ECM City Tower by Richard Meier & Partners in Prague, Czech Republic. Exterior facade by night.
Photo courtesy Richard Meier & Partners
September 28, 2009 /

ECM City Tower
Richard Meier & Partners
Prague, Czech Republic

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.

Arp Museum by Richard Meier & Partners in Remagen-Rolandseck, Germany. Exterior landscape.
Photo: Roland Halbe
September 28, 2007 /

Arp Museum
Richard Meier & Partners
Remagen-Rolandseck, Germany

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.

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center by Richard Meier & Partners in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Photo © Tim Griffith
January 15, 2007 /

Eli & Edythe Broad Art Center
Richard Meier & Partners
Los Angeles, California, USA

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.

Ara Pacis Museum by Richard Meier & Partners in Rome, Italy. Exterior landscape. Photo courtesy Richard Meier & Partners
June 27, 2005 /

Ara Pacis Museum
Richard Meier & Partners
Rome, Italy

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.

Burda Collection Museum by Richard Meier & Partners in Baden-Baden, Germany.  exterior landscape.
Photo: Klaus Frahm
March 21, 2005 /

Burda Collection Museum
Richard Meier & Partners
Baden-Baden, Germany

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.

Jesolo Lido Village by Richard Meier & Partners in Jesolo Lido, USA.  Rendering.
Image courtesy Richard Meier & Partners
January 03, 2005 /

Jesolo Lido Village
Richard Meier & Partners
Jesolo Lido, USA

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.

Jubilee Church by Richard Meier & Partners in Rome, Italy.
Photo © Edmund Sumner
January 26, 2004 /

Jubilee Church
Richard Meier & Partners
Rome, Italy

The parish church for the year 2000 was conceived as a new center for a somewhat isolated housing quarter on the outskirts of Rome.

Rickmers Reederei Headquarters by Richard Meier & Partners in Hamburg, Germany.
Photo: arcspace
May 07, 2003 /

Rickmers Reederei Headquarters
Richard Meier & Partners
Hamburg, Germany

Recalling Hamburg's Hanseatic mercantile history, the Rickmers Reederei building is a sleek, new headquarters for an international shipping company.

Restaurant 66 by Richard Meier & Partners in New York, New York, USA. Photo: arcspace. interior seating area
March 17, 2003 /

Restaurant 66
Richard Meier & Partners
New York, New York, USA

Restaurant 66 offers a new fusion of modern design and haute Chinese cuisine in New York City.

Museum of Contemporary Art (Macba) by Richard Meier & Partners in Barcelona, Spain. interior exhibition area.
Photo: arcspace
February 25, 2002 /

Museum of Contemporary Art
Richard Meier & Partners
Barcelona, Spain

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.

Museum of Television & Radio by Richard Meier & Partners in Beverly Hills, California, USA. entrance.
Photo courtesy Richard Meier & Partners
September 25, 2001 /

Museum of Television & Radio
Richard Meier & Partners
Beverly Hills, California, USA

The Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills is located prominently at the corner of North Beverly Drive and Little Santa Monica Boulevard.

Photo courtesy Richard Meier & Partners. Richard Meier & Partners - Neugebauer House
July 15, 2001 /

Neugebauer House
Richard Meier & Partners
Naples, Florida, USA

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.

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