Richard Meier’s Models

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Not unlike his buildings—with their uncompromising linearity, precise use of natural light, and stark white facades—Richard Meier is a striking figure.

In his signature round spectacles, a perfectly pressed suit, and with that recognizable shock of white hair, the Pritzker Prize-winning modernist invited filmmaker Barbara Anastacio on a tour of the newly opened Richard Meier Model Museum. “It’s a wonderful feeling to hover over a lifetime of Meier’s work,” says New York-based Anastacio of the space occupying the second floor of Mana Contemporary gallery in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“You get a real insight into the process of making architecture, how it evolves from an abstract idea to an actual building. It’s like the Ariadne’s thread into Meier’s mind and creative labyrinth.” The museum houses Meier’s personal art studio, a research library, and rotating exhibitions, in addition to more than 300 of Meier’s models.

The comprehensive collection spans the entirety of the grand master’s career: from his 1965 Smith House in Connecticut, to the iconic, sprawling Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Perry Street glass towers that line the West Side Highway in lower Manhattan. “It was important for me to have Meier looking over his own creations,” says Anastacio. “Lost in his own private utopia, in a momentaneous nostalgia.”