Meier: The Garden State’s Most Iconic Architects

April 8, 2013

Richard Meire

Richard Meier, FAIA

Richard Meier, FAIA, who was born in Newark, N.J., has developed a unique and vibrant style of architecture that has made him one of the most widely emulated and influential architects — not just in New Jersey, but in the world. His work, famously known for the prominent use of the color white, celebrates natural light and space in response to the environments in which his buildings stand, thereby creating inspiring spaces of aesthetic illumination and progressive cultural values.

Meier keynoted AIA-NJ’s first-ever Tri-State Conference in 2011, during which he spoke about a handful of his projects and his view on architecture:

“Architecture is the mother of the arts,” he said. “I like to believe that architecture connects the present with the past and the tangible with the intangible. I believe that architecture has the power inspire, to elevate the spirit to feed both the mind and the body. For me, it’s the most public of the arts.”

Meier went on to explain his stark white building designs for which he is commonly known. “White is the most wonderful color because within it you can see all the colors of the rainbow,” he said. “The whiteness of white is never just white; it is almost always transformed by light and that which is changing — the sky, the clouds, the sun and moon.”

This masterful — almost poetic — approach, has landed Meier major commissions in the United States and Europe, including courthouses, city halls, museums, corporate headquarters, housing and private residences. Perhaps one of his most noted U.S.-based projects was the design of the $1 billion Getty Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

Meier has been recognized with some of architecture’s highest honors, including the Pritzker Prize for Architecture and the AIA Gold Medal. Since receiving his architectural degree from Cornell University in New York City, he has also been awarded numerous honorary degrees, including one from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, N.J. And, he has also taught at numerous colleges and universities, including Princeton University in Princeton, N.J.

“Any work of architecture that has with it some discussion, some polemic, I think is good. It shows that people are interested, people are involved.” Richard Meier

Other posts in this series:

Michael Graves, FAIA

Eleanore Pettersen, FAIA

J. Robert Hillier, FAIA

Malcolm Holzman, FAIA

Malcolm Wells, FAIA

Peter Eisenman, FAIA

William H. Short, FAIA

David Childs, FAIA

Fred Wesley Wentworth, FAIA

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