Richard Meier's Model Museum

Multi-award-winning American architect Richard Meier is best known for his mostly white, supremely modern buildings like the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Indiana Athaneum and most famously, the Getty Center in Los Angeles. It is not so well known that he is one of very few architects working today who still uses physical models and not the more popular 3D models generated by a computer. But not only does Meier use models during his design process, he uses multiple, intricately rendered models of varying scale made mostly of wood.

Over the course of his career he’s amassed quite a few and has now finally made them available to the public at the newly opened Meier Model Museum in Long Island City. The nearly 3,600 square foot space houses works dating back to the 1960s, but roughly half the space is occupied by models of the Getty Center, which Meier worked on for 15 years before it opened in 1997. Highlights include the World Trade Center memorial proposal model (which did not make it to the final round) and the largest model, a 16-foot rendering of the Getty Center, had to be craned into the museum through a hole in the roof.

The museum is open only on Fridays and only until the end of summer. Call 212.967.6060 to schedule a visit.

Photo courtesy of