The Getty Center and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Richard Meier

Richard Meier,

Los Angeles, USA,

Cultural Center, Free Time,

Cement, Glass,

Architect: Richard Meier & Partners.
Client and owner: The J. Paul Getty Trust.
Location: 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049
tel.: (001) 310 440 7300
Project date: 1986-91.
Construction date: 1992-97.
Construction materials: reinforced concrete, steel, Italian travertine, enamel-painted panels of sheet metal, aluminium, glass

The Getty Center and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Richard Meier The museum consists of five separate buildings united by a route along the top level, plus an isolated building containing the Museum Café and a temporary exhibition space, organised around a courtyard or rectangular plaza 120 metres long, which is surrounded by porticos and enhanced with fountains.

Visitors enter the museum through an entrance hall containing service areas which consists of a large round glassed-in hall opening onto the courtyard so as to form its northern boundary; the museum rooms are based on a cubic 30x30x30 foot module which rules over the various dimensions of the spaces.
The Getty Center is a "princely architecture" transferred into the California sun, to create the perfect scene for leisure in this land of cinema and the pretend.
A visit to the museum begins with a funfair-like mechanised landscape in which the visitor wanders in a reverie amongst the halls and rotundas, paved plazas and gardens, walkways, terraces and stairs of a citadel whose human scale appears unreal in the setting of one of the world's least "human" cities or regions.

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