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  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. Spotlight: Richard Meier

Spotlight: Richard Meier

Spotlight: Richard Meier
Spotlight: Richard Meier, Douglas House, Harbor Springs, Michigan. Image © James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office
Douglas House, Harbor Springs, Michigan. Image © James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office

"When I am asked what I believe in, I say that I believe in architecture. Architecture is the mother of the arts. I like to believe that architecture connects the present with the past and the tangible with the intangible."

Richard Meier, the Pritzker Prize and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect, is well known for his abstracted, often white, buildings and unrelenting personal design philosophy. Citing Bernini and Borromini as influences as well as Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, Meier received his Bachelor in Architecture from Cornell University in 1957 and took jobs with Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Marcel Breuer soon after his graduation. He began his own private practice in New York in 1963 and rocketed to architectural fame in the early 1970s, after being named as one of the "New York Five."

The Atheneum, New Harmony, Indiana. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Church of 2000, Tor Tre Treste, Rome, Italy. Image © Andrea Giannotti, Gabriele Rossetti Douglas House, Harbor Springs, Michigan. Image © James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office + 31

© Richard Phibbs
© Richard Phibbs
The OCT Shenzhen Clubhouse, Shenzhen, China. Image © Roland Halbe, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners
The OCT Shenzhen Clubhouse, Shenzhen, China. Image © Roland Halbe, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners

The New York Five were a group of five New York City architects (Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, Charles Gwathmey, Michael Graves, and John Hejduk) who shared an allegiance to modern architecture and pure form, reminiscent of the work of Le Corbusier in the 1920-30s. They were commonly called "the Whites," a nod to their proclivity for the stark hue.

The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners
The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners

Meier is perhaps the best known of the group for his use of white in his designs, which he believes enhances the qualities of light in space: "Whiteness allows the architectural ideas to be understood most clearly—the difference between opacity and transparency, solid and void, structure and surface," he explains. "They have a greater clarity."

Neugebauer House, Naples, Florida. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners
Neugebauer House, Naples, Florida. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners

Over his half-century of practice, Meier has amassed a huge body of work. Though he began with smaller projects, such as the Douglas House and the Rachofsky House, he now designs almost exclusively large-scale civic buildings. Included among these are the Getty Center, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ara Pacis Museum and the Paley Center for Media. 

Rachofsky House, Dallas, Texas. Image © Michael Bodycomb
Rachofsky House, Dallas, Texas. Image © Michael Bodycomb

Meier recently returned back to his New Jersey roots, designing and constructing a mixed-use "teachers village" in downtown Newark. The complex contains three charter schools, a daycare center, residential units, and retail spaces along the ground floors and is part of an effort to revitalize downtown Newark.

Church of 2000, Tor Tre Treste, Rome, Italy. Image © Andrea Giannotti, Gabriele Rossetti
Church of 2000, Tor Tre Treste, Rome, Italy. Image © Andrea Giannotti, Gabriele Rossetti

Check out all of Richard Meier's work featured on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below, with further coverage below those:

Douglas House, Harbor Springs, Michigan. Image © James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office The Atheneum, New Harmony, Indiana. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Neugebauer House, Naples, Florida. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Neugebauer House, Naples, Florida. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners The Atheneum, New Harmony, Indiana. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California. Image © Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Church of 2000, Tor Tre Treste, Rome, Italy. Image © Andrea Giannotti, Gabriele Rossetti Church of 2000, Tor Tre Treste, Rome, Italy. Image © Andrea Giannotti, Gabriele Rossetti The OCT Shenzhen Clubhouse, Shenzhen, China. Image © Roland Halbe, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners 230 Halsey Street, Newark, New . Image © Steven Size, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners International Coffee Plaza, Hamburg, Germany. Image © Klaus Frahm Arp Museum, Remagen-Rolandseck, Germany. Image © Roland Halbe, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Bodrum Houses, Yalikavak, Turkey. Image Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Rachofsky House, Dallas, Texas. Image © Michael Bodycomb City Green Court, Prague, Czech Republic. Image © Roland Halbe Luxembourg House. Image © Roland Halbe Italcementi i.lab. Image © Scott Frances – OTTO Villa Gardone. Image Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Jesolo Lido Condominium. Image © Roland Halbe United States Courthouse High Museum of Art. Image © Scott Frances | Esto Seamarq Hotel. Image © Roland Halbe Leblon Offices. Image © Roland Halbe The Ara Pacis Museum, Rome, Italy. Image © Roland Halbe, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners The Ara Pacis Museum, Rome, Italy. Image © Roland Halbe, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners 230 Halsey Street, Newark, New . Image Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Rothschild Tower. Image © Roland Halbe Cittadella Bridge. Image © Hufton+Crow + 31

AD Interviews: Richard Meier

AD Interviews: Richard Meier & Partners Architects

Restoring a Classic: Richard Meier's Douglas House

Richard Meier's Douglas House Added to National Register of Historic Places

VIDEO: The Models of Richard Meier

Richard Meier & Massimo Vignelli: On the Edge of Modernism

This past Tuesday, design icon Massimo Vignelli passed away at the age of 83. To commemorate his memory, we're re-publishing a fantastic video from NOWNESS in which Vignelli and Richard Meier discuss their fruitful collaborations and their long friendship. Learn more about the pair's collaborationsand read Meier's full, touching statement on his late friend and neighbor, Massimo Vignelli, after the break...

See Richard Meier's City Hall in The Hague Repainted as the "World's Largest Mondrian"

Meier: Richard Meier & Partners, Complete Works 1963-2013

Cite: Katherine Allen. "Spotlight: Richard Meier" 12 Oct 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/437459/happy-birthday-richard-meier/> ISSN 0719-8884
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Douglas House, Harbor Springs, Michigan. Image © James Haefner courtesy of Michigan State Historic Preservation Office

聚焦: 理查德迈耶