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What is this?

This early drawing of the Getty complex layout shows the architect developing the orientation and regulating grids for the architecture which are based on the 22.5 degree angle of the San Diego Freeway as it comes from the south and bends to the north below the Center. This is also the same angle of two intersecting ridges that run through the complex. Superimposed on the two orientation lines Meier has set two grids on which he has begun to lay out a grouping of museum pavilions and a visitor arrival area.

Why is this in our collection?

This preparatory drawing provides an especially interesting and revealing glimpse into architect Richard Meier’s design process. Meier is one of the preeminent architects of the late 20th century and the Getty Center is unquestionably Meier’s most ambitious and most celebrated creation. This early drawing of the Getty’s complex layout shows the architect developing the orientation and regulating grids for the architecture, which are based on the 22.5 degree angle of the San Diego Freeway as it comes from the south and bends to the north below the Center. This is also the same angle as the two intersecting ridges that run through the complex. Superimposed on the two orientation lines, Meier has set two... more

This is a drawing from United States. It is dated September 4, 1986 and we acquired it in 2009. Gift of Ana Meier. This object is currently resting in our storage facility ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Its medium is

graphite on tracing paper

Its dimensions are

61 x 94 cm (24 x 37 in.) Frame (existing): 102.9 x 102.9 x 5.9 cm (40 1/2 x 40 1/2 x 2 5/16 in.)

It has the following markings

Stamp in black, lower right: SITE STUDY 1/4 SEPT 86

It is inscribed

Inscribed in graphite, upper right and along a diagonal from left to right: orientation of grid related to the San Diego Freeway; on diagonal from corner, lower left and running from lower left to upper right: orientation of grid related to north-south direction/and high points and blueprints of site

This object was architect: Richard Meier

This object was catalogued by Karin Zonis and donated by Ana Meier

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

  • Meier 75, October 1, 2009 - October 12, 2009

See more stuff from the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18733539 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=http://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18733539/ |title=Drawing, "Site Study 1, J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles", September 4, 1986 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 October 2014 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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