Not many museum visits begin with a tram ride up the mountain. But the Getty Center in LA is anything but your usual museum. In 1984, architect Richard Meier won the coveted commission, and in 1997, the museum opened to fanfare heard round the world.
Four words often associated Richard Meier's modern buildings are: bright, white, shiny, and square. It was the first three words that had many fearing a ghastly, glaring blob plopped on the hilltop, reflecting the sun and even, at certain times of the day, blinding motorists on the San Diego Freeway below. After much opposition, changes were made to the original plan.
A lighter white was utilized and...
.... travertine stone, unearthed from a mine in Bagni di Tavoli, just outside of Rome, Italy bring a rough softness to surface walls. Two types of embedded fossils are visible due to the cuts being made with the grain of the stone. Eric Doehne, Associate Scientist with the GCI Scientific Program writes in depth about travertine here.
Dine al fresco with views of the Santa Monica mountains.
Or enjoy drinks overlooking the fabulous Robert Irwin designed gardens across the westside to the Pacific Ocean. Sunsets are magnificent year round.
Traffic on the San Diego freeway came to a standstill December 6, 2017 as the Brentwood fire, started by homeless campers nearby, turned the surrounding hillsides into an inferno, destroying many residences in its path and threatening The Getty Center and nearby Skirball Cultural Center.
Working with an unlimited budget to build a museum and acquire new art to add the existing collection, the Getty was seen as a threat to many. How would the trust's ability to outbid all others at auction upset the balance? Most of those fears have been allayed since its opening and today the museum coexists with - and contributes to - the art world in valuable ways other institutions with fewer resources cannot.
Notice the 'tree' with red foliage. It's actually twelve trees, lined up perfectly!
To learn more: Getty