Where does inspiration come from, and why do architects often deny its source?

Campbell, Robert
February 2004
Architectural Record;Feb2004, Vol. 192 Issue 2, p57
Trade Publication
You can't visit architect Richard Meier's Getty Center in Los Angeles, without thinking of Hadrian's-Villa, the palace built near Tivoli, a few miles east of Rome, by the great Roman emperor in about the year 120. A few weeks before Getty Center opened, the author lunched with Richard Meier on one of its terraces. A few weeks later, the author was again at the Getty. On that visit he spoke with Harold Williams, Getty's director. There was one other memorable moment in the author's lunch with Meier. Getty at that time consisted of five separate related organizations, the art museum being only the most public of them. Most were still in the process of formation during the time of design. Meier thus had the difficult or maybe impossible task of designing buildings for clients who hadn't yet quite figured out who they were and what was their program.


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