Richard Meier’s Models

The Great American Architect Introduces His Modernism in Miniature

Not unlike his buildings—with their uncompromising linearity, precise use of natural light, and stark white facades—Richard Meier is a striking figure. In his signature round spectacles, a perfectly pressed suit, and with that recognizable shock of white hair, the Pritzker Prize-winning modernist invited filmmaker Barbara Anastacio on a tour of the newly opened Richard Meier Model Museum. “It's a wonderful feeling to hover over a lifetime of Meier’s work,” says New York-based Anastacio of the space occupying the second floor of Mana Contemporary gallery in Jersey City, New Jersey. “You get a real insight into the process of making architecture, how it evolves from an abstract idea to an actual building. It's like the Ariadne's thread into Meier's mind and creative labyrinth.” The museum houses Meier’s personal art studio, a research library, and rotating exhibitions, in addition to more than 300 of Meier’s models. The comprehensive collection spans the entirety of the grand master’s career: from his 1965 Smith House in Connecticut, to the iconic, sprawling Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Perry Street glass towers that line the West Side Highway in lower Manhattan. “It was important for me to have Meier looking over his own creations,” says Anastacio. “Lost in his own private utopia, in a momentaneous nostalgia.”

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  • ON REPLAY
    ON REPLAY

    Patents: Tape

    Artist Gary Card and Director Jacob Sutton Celebrate the Sticky Stuff with a Crumpled Take on Evolution

    The Sellotape hated us. It had very little care or respect for what we were trying to achieve and would willfully sabotage our finest efforts. Jacob Sutton and I went through countless aborted creatures. Gigantic, complex beasts complete with teeth and closely observed muscle and tendon detail. We tried dinosaurs, squids, bugs. We would spend two hours getting to a critical point when suddenly the whole creature would start to collapse into itself. Constructing these animals became a gut-wrenchingly tense pursuit, the most heart breaking game of Jenga, and I would end up tearing the creature limb from limb in a hysterical rage more times than is professionally suitable. There are a few lovely moments when you see the animals struggle, maybe their heads start to veer off to one side or their bodies start to droop. There was something sweetly optimistic about watching these things struggle but manage to balance themselves on their new 'Bambi' legs. It seemed that the less detail there was, the more magical the creature became. In the end the film became about evolution, not just in the literal sense but also of our process.Gary Card

    Richard Gurley Drew of St. Paul, Minnesota filed the patent for adhesive tape on this day, May 28, in 1928.

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    MOST LOVED IN DESIGN

    Ole Scheeren: A Beijing Essay 

    The German Architect Reflects on the Shapeshifting Metropolis He Calls Home

    “This city is strong, robust, self-assured,” says Ole Scheeren of Beijing, where he has lived and worked since the early 2000's, when he came to oversee the construction of the iconic Chinese Central Television (CCTV) Headquarters as Director and Partner of Rem Koolhaas' Dutch firm, OMA. “Even though it has transformed dramatically, it has never lost touch with itself entirely.” When it first appeared, the striking, cantilevered structure was emblematic of a new direction in Beijing architecture, and the the acclaimed architect spent a recent Sunday meandering through the city’s streets, lending his voice to this lucid portrait of the building by filmmaker Montague Fendt. Scheeren broke out on his own in 2010 as the Principal of Büro Ole Scheeren, further developing his standing in Asia by designing the Angkasa Raya, a 268-meter tall landmark building in Kuala Lumpur, and Duo, a large-scale urban development in Singapore. “It is forever vibrant and exciting,” says Scheeren of Beijing’s literal and figurative rise. “Yet fundamentally and unabashedly unglamorous.”

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