The Vision of Richard Meier

Taking inspiration from the best of Twentieth Century modernist architecture, Richard Meier created his own unique vision while remaining loyal to his own design ethic, regardless of the current architectural trends. According to Meier, “Architecture should not mimic but rather provide a counterpoint to the surroundings while still maintaining a relationship”1.

“Richard Meier was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1934,” 2 and studied architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In 1957 he graduated from Cornell with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.  Early in his career Meier worked for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and then with architect and designer, Marcel Breuer. Meier opened his own practice in 1963 at the age of twenty-nine.1 The architect became a member of the “New York Five,” a group of influential young architects that included “ Meier, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk, and Peter Eisenman (Meier’s second cousin)”3.

Rchard Meier circa 2000, phtotgrapher unknown.

Meier’s signature architectural forms are clean, bold, dramatic and white. “Early works included opulent homes that blurred the lines of art and architecture with bold geometric design”4. The Smith House, built in the mid-1960s in Darien, Connecticut, and the Douglas House (1971-73), in Harbor Springs, Michigan, exemplify this design philosophy.

Richard Meier, Douglas House, Harbor Springs, Michigan, (1973). Photograph Copyright, AIA.

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