Richard Meier, an architect of the New York Five group and the creator of the CITY TOWER
* 1934 Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.
The leading American architect Richard Meier studied architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in 1953 – 1957. He worked for a number of companies and in 1963 he opened his own studio. His first complete project is the house of his parents in Essex Fells, New Jersey.
Development of Bronx, FIVE ARCHITECTS group
In 1970, the first big public order is awarded to Richard Meier. He is in charge of the development of central Bronx in New York. The public become more familiar with Meier after the book entitled FIVE ARCHITECTS was published in 1972. The book describes the work and projects of the well-known group of architects: Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, John Hejduk, Michael Graves and Charles Gwathmey.
1984: Pritzker Prize and development of a project worth a billion dollars
In 1975, Richard Meier gives lectures at Yale University and works on several big projects. In 1984, he is given the Pritzker Prize and at the same time a prestigious order – a design of the Getty Center in Los Angeles in California worth $ 1 billion.
Cubistic composition and main mass
Meier’s early works are characterized by cubistic composition, complex of vertical sections and fine forms and materials. He concentrates on the main mass, to which he adds or from which he takes away geometrical parts of mass. Later on he works with more masses, which intersect and blend together to form one complex composition.
“My goal has always been to create distinctive spatial lyrics within the framework of pure form.” Richard Meier
White is not just white
White. This colour is the main colour of Meier’s structures. His white, however, is never just white. It is a subject of constant change through the forces of nature: the sky, weather, vegetation, clouds and light. He distinctly creates the mass of buildings based on identical design concepts and keeps his own designer’s philosophy.
“White is the most beautiful colour to me because all the colours of the rainbow can be identified in it.” Richard Meier
Meier often uses neo-corbusian shapes with enamelled panels inserted in a grid and large glass surfaces that go well with linear ramps and railings. His composition harmonically unites all the elements as well as contrast shapes in one whole and creates clear proportions.
Light, colour and place
Three most important characteristics of his works are light, colour and place.
“White is always a symbol of perfection, tidiness and clarity. On a white surface you can best understand the interplay of light and shade and of areas and edges.” Richard Meier
The main idea that Meier emphasizes is placeness, a term that he himself invented.
Using white he well separates a building from the place it is located at and emphasizes the presence of the building as an independent object.
“Placeness is what makes a space a place.” Richard Meier
Richard Meier is the holder of the most prestigious awards in his sphere of activity: the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects and of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Praemium Imperiale by the Japanese Art Association.
Public administration buildings, museums, churches and private residences all over the world
Meier’s most famous projects include:
- Getty Center in Los Angeles
- High Museum in Atlanta
- Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona
- Museum of Decorative Art in Frankfurt
- Canal+ TV headquarters in Paris
- Town hall and central library in Hague
- Jubilee Church in Rome
- Town hall in San José
- Building of Natural Sciences and Technologies at Cornell University
- Ara Pacis Museum in Rome
- Apartments on Perry Street and Charles Street in New York
- Burda Collection Museum in Germany’s Baden-Baden
Richard Meier is a member of the artists’ council of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, American Academy in Rome and American Academy of Art and Literature, which awarded him the Gold Medal for Architecture in 2008.
Richard Meier about the City Tower project
“This exacting task involved a dialogue with the historical beauty of Prague and also creating a modern future of the city. The building of the CITY TOWER is our first project in Central Europe.
At the same time, it is the highest building designed by our studio. I am very proud of having had a chance to participate in this project and having made a contribution to the city I like.” Richard Meier
Have a look at interesting facts about the CITY TOWER.