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American architect Richard Meier has created a private museum and library in New Jersey to house his vast collection of models, sculptures, paintings and books from a career spanning more than five decades.

Encompassing 15,000 square feet (4,570 metres), the Richard Meier Model Museum is located at Mana Contemporary, a sprawling factory complex in Jersey City that has been converted into a cultural centre. It now contains artist studios, art storage, and exhibition and performance spaces. In addition to numerous models of buildings, the Meier museum presents the architect’s paintings and collages in a gallery-like setting. The venue, which opened in 2014 and was designed by Meier, also includes over 1,000 volumes from his personal library, along with a storage area. New images of the space have just been released. Meier, who founded his eponymous practice more than 50 years ago, said he has accumulated an extensive array of materials that require ample storage space – a common problem for many established firms.

The museum gives the architect a place to store material and share items with the public. Meier won the Pritzker Prize in 1984. At the time, he was the youngest architect to ever receive the honour.

Known for his stark white designs, Meier’s style has remained consistent throughout his long career. The all-white, loft-style museum reflects the architect’s aesthetic, according to the firm. Marquee items on display include a series of large presentation models of the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Other notable project models on view include the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome, the High Museum in Atlanta, and the Perry Street Towers in New York. “No series of architectural drawings will ever be able to show the complexity and the interrelationships that you gain and can understand by looking at the models in the collection,” Meier told Dezeen.

He emphasised the importance of light in his work, which he hopes the items in the museum convey. “Natural light is a most fundamental element central to all our work, and is as much a building material as concrete and stone,” Meier said. “By looking at the various study and final models, we hope that visitors to the museum can learn about our obsession with light, and how this has been integrated with both proven traditional methods and new technologies.”

Competition entries are also on view, such as Meier’s proposal for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. He was a finalist in the high-profile design competition that invited architects to submit ideas for rebuilding the site after the terrorists attacks of 11 September 2001. Though long associated with New York, Meier is a native of New Jersey. He is currently working on a project there – Teachers Village, a low-cost housing complex in Newark that will house educators and staff.

The Richard Meier Model Museum is open Monday to Friday by appointment.

Design: Richard Meier
Photography: Chris Cooper (Gallery) / Jock Pottle (Models)

via Dezeen

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