The huge complex, in memory of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, cost 1 billion dollars and was designed by Pritzker prize winner Richard Meier, who was awarded the commission over two other finalists, Fumihiko Maki and James Sterling. Meier is known for his high tech white buildings (see The Atheneum and Clifty Creek Elementary School) but not all of the buildings at the Getty Center are of white enamel panels; some are clad in a warm beige textured travertine quarried in Italy. These non-load-bearing slabs with obvious joints are held in place by stainless steel anchors.
The site is extensively landscaped, partly because Meier's building aesthetic demands an interaction with the natural environment and partly because the site had been completely disturbed during construction and thus subject to erosion. The slopes are planted with thousands of oak trees and ground cover. A large controversial Central Garden designed by Robert Irwin is located between the Museum and the Research Institute.
The new Museum at the Getty Center replaces the Malibu J. Paul Getty Museum, a design based on a Roman villa, which is closed for remodeling. It will eventually showcase the Getty collection of Greek and Roman art.
|Tram and passages|
|Museum from south and west|
|Central Garden by Robert Irwin
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