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Thread: Richard Meier - Modernist in White Armour

  1. #166

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    Excerpted from a piece by Paul Seletsky, Sr. Mgr. of Digital Design, SOM New York
    Modernism’s failure to enact a new social order inevitably reduced its aesthetic references down to surface frontispieces: Venturian billboards. Richard Meier transformed Le Corbusier’s white-on-white utopian visions successfully into mannerism; Roy Lichtenstein, imagery into newsprint pixilation; and Andy Warhol, portraiture into pop iconography. The Modernists’ polemical calling for cultural transformation was unable to exact tangible social change and inevitably fell into obscurity. To rephrase Le Corbusier’s famous pronouncement, “Revolution was avoided.”


    (Left) Le Corbusier - Villa Stein 1927. (Right) Richard Meier – MOCA Barcelona 1995.
    The above are substantial and grounded, not life-sized bendy foam-core cutouts tacked together as I perceive Stadthaus to be.

    Regarding pilotis, there really is no comparison. Cylindrical forms convey an inherent visual strength -- primarily by evoking the archetypal firmness and steadfastness of trees -- that is entirely lacking from the artifice of an extruded rectangle.

    But I mainly object to the use of stucco for load bearing members, and especially object to the stucco resting on the ground plane. It gives the structure the impression that is it all veneer and no substance.

  2. #167

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    Seems as though you are repeating the same thing.

    I guess we have to agree to disagree.

  3. #168

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    I'm not trying to convince you of anything.

    Is critical writing forbidden here or something?

  4. #169
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    Richard Meier

    By VIVIAN MARINO

    Mr. Meier, 75, is the managing partner of Richard Meier & Partners Architects and a recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

    Noted for his Modernist style, Mr. Meier has designed public and private spaces worldwide, including the Perry West and On Prospect Park residential developments.

    Among his best-known projects is the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

    Q Has business picked up?
    A Today we’re busy, but I always worry about two weeks from now when we finish what we’re doing and have to figure out what’s next. Fortunately, the things that were on hold are now moving ahead, so we’re pleased about that. And we’ve been in touch with a couple of developers here in New York who sound optimistic, but they don’t have any projects at the moment. So, it’s not great, but it’s not that bad.

    Q Are you disappointed by the slow sales at On Prospect Park, the glass tower you designed in Brooklyn?
    A For awhile it was static, but I understand now that things are improving. I felt badly for the people who were living there, but they didn’t seem to mind.

    Q What is the status of the Teachers Village in Newark, “work force” housing you designed?
    A It’s gotten all of the approvals from the city. It’ll break ground probably a little over a year from now. The housing is very much a part of what’s happening in downtown Newark. There are also two charter schools that are a part of the project, but another firm is doing that.

    Q Some call the project in Newark, also your birthplace, a return to your more modest roots.
    A I did low-income housing in the Bronx — Twin Parks — in the late ’60s. In fact, we went up there and visited just a few weeks ago. It was pretty depressing to see what’s happened in 40 years. It’s really been neglected.

    Q Any opinions on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, and the design by your former student, Daniel Libeskind, who competed against your team for master plan architect?
    A I do. Look, I love Danny. But I’m not happy with the whole master plan. The individual buildings, I think, may be O.K., but I just don’t think it’s as much of a public place as I would have liked to have seen.
    We did a proposal — Steven Holl, Charlie Gwathmey, Peter Eisenman and myself — that was about making a real public place, what we called Memorial Square, and expressing what happened on 9/11.

    Q You’ve designed many public spaces over your long career, particularly museums. Why?
    A If I had my choice I would do more museums. I love seeing art and experiencing different kinds of exhibitions, but more importantly the museum is really a public place. There are all other kinds of social activities that take place in a museum. The museums in New York are in their own way spectacular, and they feel a responsibility to the public.

    Q Tell me about the Richard Meier Model Museum in Long Island City.
    A We’re constantly making new models for projects, and so we keep the new models in the office and we take the older ones to store out there. We figured we might as well open it to the public, and especially to architecture students who are very interested in that process. We had 45 German students there the other day.

    Q How does it make you feel to be called a “starchitect”?
    A People can say what they want.

    Q Did you always want to be an architect?
    A Yes. I remember friends of my parents coming for dinner one night, and I was 14 years old, and they asked me, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” And I said, “I want to be an architect.” And that was it. I decided, and that was it.

    Q You’re known for your Modernist style and white aesthetic.A You can appreciate the colors in nature — the ever-changing colors of the day and the seasons — because of the whiteness in the buildings. The whiteness is also a way of articulating the architectural ideas in the clearest ways: the difference between openness and closure, between transparency and opaqueness.

    Q But it gets dirty, no?
    A We’re actually working with this company in Italy that’s creating a pollution-eating, self-cleaning white concrete. We did a church in Rome with precast concrete made by this company. We’re building their headquarters in Italy out of it.

    Q Do you have a favorite project?
    A Yeah, my favorite project is probably the next one, whatever that is.

    Q Have you ever designed any homes for yourself?
    A No, though I gutted my prewar apartment on the Upper East Side and made it into a loft.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/re...ref=realestate

  5. #170

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    "...my prewar apartment..."

    Heh, heh, heh :-)

  6. #171

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    Thanks for this thread, Zephyr.
    Other than on Meier's own site,there seems to be very little written about the Hypolux Bank building in Luxembourg, which I find one of his most accomplished. Do you know any sources?


  7. #172
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    ^ Zephyr is sadly no longer posting here.

    I couldn't find anything either, but I scanned some photos from a couple of books I have.















    Larger versions at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozmerry...th/5152883934/

    A couple more photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/klaasfo...th/3034791302/

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  9. #174
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    This Sunday, Tour Richard Meier's Groundbreaking Westbeth Artists Lofts

    By Matt Chaban


    Westbeth before Meier showed up.
    The High Line once ran through there, too.


    Like many of New York's grand old industrial buildings, the Bell Laboratories on Bethune Street in the West Village went quiet in the 1960s. But instead of being turned into just another loft building, the huge 13-building complex was transformed into the nation's oldest and still largest artist cooperative. With help from the J.M. Kaplan fund and the National Endowment for the Arts, famed New York architect Richard Meier was brought in to transform the spaces into what became the prototype for loft living in the city.
    The complex has been home to such luminaries as Diane Arbus, Merce Cunningham, Moses Gunn, Gil Evans and Vin Diesel—he was born there, not invited in on his merits as an artist. Now the public is invited to stalk the high-ceilinged halls for the first time.


    Westbeth after Meier.

    To celebrate Westbeth's 40th anniversary, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation is hosting tours from 1 to 5 this Sunday. Proceeds from tickets will go to fund the preservation organization while dozens of artists will be selling their art from the studios visitors can tour. The cooperative is always in need of money for maintenance, so the fundraiser should help they keep going for decades to come.

    The building was recently listed to the National Register of Historic Places, and while the Landmarks Preservation Commission has yet to make it a city landmark, the Society hopes the anniversary will help it with a renewed push. The complex is so rich in history and architecture, it is more than worthy of preservation. Not only is there the long tradition of industry and arts and the architecture associated with it, but as one of the finest examples of Richard Meier's early work, preservation remains an important task.

    Tickets are $75 online, $85 day of. Tours begin at 155 Bank Street between Washington and West streets.

    http://www.observer.com/2010/real-es...-artists-lofts

  10. #175
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    Article posted in Philip Johnson thread, also about Richard Meier:

    Mega-Church Meltown

  11. #176

  12. #177
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    Richly deserved.



    Richard Meier: Architizer Lifetime Achievement Award Winner




    It is New York City’s first ever design week, NYCxDesign. Fifty years ago, when Richard Meier established his architecture firm in New York it was a different world. Since opening his doors in 1963 Meier has become one of the most prolific and well-known architects practicing today.

    He is simultaneously an architect’s architect—he is one of the celebrated New York Five—and known around the world for building iconic and accessible buildings.

    http://www.architizer.com/en_us/blog.../#.UZiZYMokT9p

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