ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

h

Nominate now the Building of the Year 2017 »

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Museum
  4. United States
  5. Richard Meier & Partners
  6. 1997
  7. AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners, Architects LLP

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners, Architects LLP

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners, Architects LLP
AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners, Architects LLP, Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto
Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto

© Wikimedia Commons © Wikimedia Commons Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto +15

  • Architects

    Richard Meier & Partners, Architects LLP
  • Location

    Los Angeles, California
  • Architect

    Richard Meier & Partners, Architects LLP
  • References

    Richard Meier & Partners Architects
  • Project Year

    1997
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto, Wikimedia Commons

From the architect. The Getty Center occupies a narrow, hilly stretch high above the San Diego Freeway in Los Angeles California. Jutting southward from the Santa Monica Mountains, the museum’s acropolis-like stature affords spectacular views over the city, the mountains and the ocean.

Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto
Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto

Coined, “the commission of the century”, this $1 billion arts facility began in 1984 with the mandate to advance knowledge and nurture critical seeing through the growth and presentation of its collections and by advancing the understanding and preservation of the world's artistic heritage. Today the Museum’s permanent collection contains Greek and Roman antiquities, 18th-century French furniture and European paintings, and is visited by more than 1.8 million people a year.

© Wikimedia Commons
© Wikimedia Commons

Completed in 1997, Richard Meier’s program brings the seven components of the Getty Trust into a coherent unity, while maintaining their individual identities. The layout establishes a dialogue between the angle of intersection and a number of curvilinear forms that are largely derived from the contours of the site inflected by the Freeway, the metropolitan grid and the natural topography; the overall parts relate to both the City of Los Angeles and the Santa Monica Mountains.

Axonometric, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Axonometric, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects

The Center covers almost 100,000 square feet of area, and is organized along two ridges in the topography of the 110-acre parcel.

Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto
Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto

The Museum acts as the centerpiece and the main entrance to the Center. Stepping off the tram that takes you from the base of the mountain and parking area to the Welcome Center and into the Museum. The entrance lobby has a sun-lit circular foyer, and provides views through the courtyard to gallery structures arrayed in a continuous sequence.

Entry Level Plan, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Entry Level Plan, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects

Throughout the Museum there is a layering in section between paintings, illuminated by skylights on the top floor and artworks which must be shielded from ultraviolet light on the lower levels.

The smaller pavilion buildings, connected by gardens, break down the scale of the museum experience allowing for pauses and encouraging interplay between the interior and exterior. 

Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto
Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto

Each pavilion cluster has its own atrium with an adjacent stairway and elevator linking the sculpture drawing, manuscript, and photography galleries on the first floor to the paintings and galleries above.

North Elevation, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects
North Elevation, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects

A 450-seat auditorium, west of the Getty Trust offices and the Art History Information Program, terminate the east elevation. The Getty Conservation Institution, The Getty Center for Education, and The Getty Grant Program take advantage of the climate through the use of loggias, pergolas and full-height glazing at the external perimeter. Along the more secluded western ridge, the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities completes the complex.

Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto
Courtesy of richard meier & partners architects © scott frances esto

The Getty Center was the first building to be LEED certified after the standard was established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998. It is a reflection of Richard Meier & Partners design philosophy that innately considers sustainable elements like natural light, circulation and energy saving technologies and materials.

© Wikimedia Commons
© Wikimedia Commons

Special thanks to Richard Meier & Partners Architects and Scott Frances ESTO for the images, drawings, data and detailed description of the Getty Center.

© Wikimedia Commons
© Wikimedia Commons

This building is part of our Architecture City Guide: Los Angeles. Check all the other buildings on this guide right here.

East Elevation, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects
East Elevation, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Megan Sveiven. "AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners, Architects LLP" 15 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/103964/ad-classics-getty-center-richard-meier-partners-architects/>
Read comments

48 Comments

monika · November 02, 2013

beautiful....

sahar · January 26, 2013

perfect.....

arash esmaili · July 16, 2012

Beautiful…. I love the use of curves and of straight lines

Sofitel Los Angeles · March 21, 2012

This week&#39s architecture highlight for visitors is the Getty Center: http://t.co/Uo2UpN7m via @archdaily #architecture

Dorina musta · January 12, 2012

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/wF0cy6oH via @archdaily

yamanikky · August 22, 2011

http://t.co/SvGGoXh NewYorkfive??????

hamed hosseini · May 30, 2011

i need plan and section and all detail in file dwg of a works feamus architect please send for me to hamedhosseini72@gmail.com . help me please tank you for read and undrestand maseje

Laurent Sauerwein · January 23, 2011

RT @urbain_: [Best of] Visiter un classique contemporain: Getty Center par Richard Meier http://ow.ly/3G7fI #architecture

María Cecilia Suárez · January 23, 2011

RT @urbain_: [Best of] Visiter un classique contemporain: Getty Center par Richard Meier http://ow.ly/3G7fI #architecture

URBAIN trop URBAIN · January 23, 2011

[Best of] Visiter un classique contemporain: Getty Center par Richard Meier http://ow.ly/3G7fI #architecture

J Z · January 22, 2011

Coming here, inspired me to be an architect.

Jimmy · October 12, 2014 07:00 PM

Have you become an architect yet?

lmit · January 21, 2011

I visited this 10, possibly 15, years ago. What I remember: Parking was a major task. You park somewhere down the hill, then eventually take a train up to the museum. My first impression was, OMG, why didn't I bring my sunglasses?! It was all dazzlingly, blindingly white in the S. Calif. sunlight! As a Meyer design, obviously much of it was good, but: It seemed convoluted in its scattered structures. The actual contents were not particularly memorable--not Meyer's fault, but the contents are what a museum is supposed to be about, no? I didn't know the budget was $1 billion (!!!!), nor could I have imagined anything close to that, but, whatever the budget, it struck me that the concept suffered from a lack of financial constraint, hence discipline, within which designers characteristically work. Too big a candy shop can confuse more than liberate one’s thoughts--at least in our times. (Today’s architects aren’t experienced in designing Louvres and Chambords.) Having seen, and greatly appreciated, other structures of Meyer's, I felt that this, his opus magnum, was far from his best.

Milan Kramolis · January 19, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://www.archdaily.com/?p=10...

Museum veille · January 18, 2011

RT @urbain_ Visiter un classique contemporain: Getty Center par Richard Meier http://ow.ly/3EZXz #architecture

URBAIN trop URBAIN · January 18, 2011

Visiter un classique contemporain: Getty Center par Richard Meier http://ow.ly/3EZXz #architecture

My Green Palette · January 18, 2011

Great Article! A Richard Meier & Partners design: The Getty Center - 1st building to be LEED certified via @archdaily http://bit.ly/g2LqfI

alexpolier · January 18, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects | ArchDaily http://t.co/FUXu8sE via @archdaily

ilaria defilippo · January 17, 2011

Getty Center by Richard #Meier & Partners Architects • http://bit.ly/hFTOcd #museum #California #USA #architecture #LA @GettyMuseum

Matthias Rascher · January 17, 2011

Stunning architecture: Getty Center, L.A. http://bit.ly/dNVule #architecture #design #LA #LosAngeles

Knut Eric Wingsch · January 16, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center, Los Angeles, California / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://fb.me/SsyMKoR6

Chris Meisenzahl · January 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://archdai.ly/gGq05S #architecture

TWT PARTNERS · January 16, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects ...: The Getty Center occupies a narrow, hilly s... http://bit.ly/eVTRvC

Red Wolf · January 16, 2011

Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://goo.gl/7MDd4 #architecture

Phil Darwen · January 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://archdai.ly/gGq05S #architecture

Architekt R V Scholz · January 16, 2011

#Architekt #Calau AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects: ©Richar... http://bit.ly/ehYVEZ #in http://dy.cx/c03

Hudsonette · January 16, 2011

RT @matthiasrascher: Stunning architecture: Getty Center, L.A. http://bit.ly/dNVule #architecture #design #LA #LosAngeles

Judy Cosgrove · January 16, 2011

Nice feature article RT @nicholaspatten: AD Classics: Getty Center. http://bit.ly/g4ugSd

Nicholas Patten · January 16, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center. http://bit.ly/g4ugSd

sandraporto · January 16, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects | ArchDaily
http://t.co/O4G1J6X vía @archdaily

Scott @ Cube Studio · January 16, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects ...: The Getty Center occupi... http://bit.ly/hOL3jq www.cubestudio.info

Nicholas Coblence · January 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://archdai.ly/gGq05S #architecture

Vincent Beneche · January 16, 2011

RT @archdaily: AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://archdai.ly/gGq05S #architecture

ELS · January 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://archdai.ly/gGq05S #architecture

Ellen M. Hill · January 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://archdai.ly/gGq05S #architecture

GR2TF · January 16, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects: ©Richard Meier & Partners Architects and Scott ... http://bit.ly/eE1Blb

Ciprian Costas · January 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://archdai.ly/gGq05S #architecture

Antonio P · January 16, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects http://archdai.ly/gGq05S #architecture

DEZIGN · January 16, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects: ©Richard Meier & Partners Architects and Scott ... http://bit.ly/eE1Blb

Bocetos Digitales · January 16, 2011

AD Classics: Getty Center / Richard Meier & Partners Architects: ©Richard Meier & Partners Architects and Scott ... http://bit.ly/fMNHmP

skhudair · January 16, 2011

@b_moody fortune telling, im tellin ya http://archdai.ly/gGq05S

mattsu · January 16, 2011

?????????????????????? RT @archdaily: the work by Pritzker laureate Richard Meier, starting with the Getty Cente?http://archdai.ly/gGq05S

david basulto · January 16, 2011

Revisitamos la obra del grande Richard Meier en @archdaily partiendo con el Getty Center en LA. Entrevista pronto http://archdai.ly/gGq05S

lj · January 16, 2011

you may think differently after a visit...

up_today_arch · January 15, 2011

Real Mastership....

Adam Oakley · January 15, 2011

A little piece of perfection...

Sally · January 15, 2011

Beautiful.... I love the use of curves and of straight lines. They work together so well!!! Such a stunning building, I must visit sometime.

Elie · January 15, 2011

This is the catastrophic commission of the century! This hybrid monster of stone and metallic panels could have been much better if it was either modern all the way or neo-classical [postmodern] all the way. It is a lost opportunity to create a great campus on the hilltop, a modern day acropolis of the arts!

marco · January 15, 2011

perfect....

···

Comments are closed

Read comments