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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Richard Meier: The Neugebauer House

In this interview architect Richard Meier discusses the contrasts between the ideas of public and private spaces and how these concepts apply to his 1998 Neugebauer House.

The house was constructed on a wedge shaped plot adjacent to Doubloon Bay in Naples, Florida. While the house’s wide horizontal front conceals the view of the water from the public, the vertical slot windows running the width of its rear exterior wall afford a spectacular view of the Bay to the inhabitants within. The Neugebauer House’s most distinctive feature is its large steel-frame butterfly cantilevered roof.

Read more about this remarkable structure on the Richard Meier & Partners web site.

For more of this interview with Richard Meier visit

Neugebauer House
Richard Meier, Neugebauer House (1998), Naples. Florida.
Photo credit: ©Scott Frances ESTO