Richard Meier honoured by Bisazza

Celebrated US architect has huge exhibition in Vicenza to tie in with 50th anniversary year
Internal Time - Richard Meier for Bisazza
Internal Time - Richard Meier for Bisazza


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Bisazza is to tiles what Swarovski is to crystals. Each has boosted its profile by signing up the most talked-about designers, artists and architects of the day. So Bisazza has commissioned ranges by leading lights such as Jaime Hayon, Tord Boontje, Fabio Novembre, Andree Putman, Studio Job, Patricia Urquiola and Marcel Wanders.

But the Italian business has relatively recently launched a new non-profit arm which exhibits the work of interesting or topically-relevant creatives. In the last year or so, the Bisazza Foundation for Design and Contemporary Architecture has thrown shows for John Pawson and Arik Levy, and now it’s the turn of Pritzker Prize-winning Richard Meier. His most famous works include the Smith House in Connecticut (check out our video of him talking about it), Los Angeles’ Getty Centre (pictured below), the Neugebauer Residence in Florida and the Jubilee Church in Rome. 

 

Courthouse, Islip, New York - Richard Meier

Courthouse, Islip, New York - Richard Meier

This is a bit of a coup for Bisazza, which describes Meier as ‘one of the luminaries of contemporary architecture’. Though at first glance, there’s no obvious connection between the American architect and the tile company, this is without doubt a good time to focus on him, as his firm, Richard Meier & Partners, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. 

 

Getty Center - Richard Meier

Getty Center - Richard Meier

Bisazza’s retrospective, entitled Richard Meier: Architecture and Design, “will showcase his design philosophy for the first time in Italy”, according to the foundation. So along with models, sketches, renderings and photos of his most important buildings, there will be some products that he’s designed, including a collection of tableware for the high-end US firm Reed & Barton. It’s all on show till 28 July in Vicenza just west of Venice. 

 

Stainless Steel Serving Set for Reed & Barton - Richard Meier

Stainless Steel Serving Set for Reed & Barton - Richard Meier

And for something bespoke, Meier has created a new permanent installation for the foundation’s gallery space on Montecchio Maggiore. Called Internal Time, this ‘garden’ of angular pillars is described as a “stylised wood of imposing vertical elements in white mosaic”. We have a host of Richard Meier stories on phaidon.com and a truly magnificent Richard Meier monograph in our store which we strongly urge you to invest in. It's one of our favourites here at phaidon.com

 


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READ MORE ON RICHARD MEIER
  • Richard Meier
  • Richard Meier
  • Richard Meier
Born in 1934 and active since the 1960s, Richard Meier's architecture harks back to the design idealism of the early 20th century, and yet is uniquely attuned to the practical needs of contemporary living. Responsible for the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Meier's work is characterised by its use of lines and curves, asymmetry and white tiles, a style unaffected by the pragmatism and postmodern disillusionment of recent times. “My work does not lie within the neoclassical tradition,” he writes in an essay included in this volume. “I embrace the abstract. Mine is a precoccupution with space... whose order and definition are related to light, to human scale and to the culture of architecture.”

Copiously illustrated with scale models, photography and blueprints, this volume looks back over his entire career, including the 1970s when, as one of the “New York Five” he offered an alternative to the dominant culture of high-rise buildings. It takes in also his more recent, larger scale works and his imaginative forays into low cost housing design. An essay by Kenneth Frampton, meanwhile, casts light on an architect of immense stature with an undimmed faith in the power of modernism, who refuses to concede that “the new cannot be born”.

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Richard Meier

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