Saturday, September 19, 2009

Backtrack: the Getty Center

Back in August, I visited the Getty Center with my family and some family friends. This was my second visits to the Getty. The first time was when I was in middle school or early high school. This time around, I really really began to like the architecture. There is something so organic about the complex designed by Richard Meier, who, I am proud to say, received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell; yet, the structures are also constructive and geometric.

The material that Meier chose to use for the cladding of all the buildings is travertine. It is such a natural material and Meier really plays with it. Some parts of the building, he uses polished travertine; sometimes he uses unfinished travertine that is extremely porous and rough. What makes travertine even more beautiful is that sometimes you can spot leaves and shells that either have left imprints or are embedded within the stone. On the other hand, the complex is very constructive because some of the buildings are very geometric. For example, the building at the bottom has a large, imposing cubic section that dominates the view. I think the fusion of the organic material and the geometric shapes create a beautiful contrast.

Next time I will talk about the artworks housed at the Getty.

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