'Picture, Tower, Building – Richard Meier and the Ulm Minster' is a retrospective on the lauded American architect, whose mannered use of natural light and sensitive spatial awareness – 'creating sublime spaces of aesthetic illumination and enlightened cultural values' – has made him one of America’s most respected contemporary practitioners for the past half century. He is a winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and has received Gold Medals from both the American Institute of Architects and RIBA.
The exhibition – which runs until 22 November – includes original models, sketches, schematic drawings and photographs of past Meier projects, including the Smith House in Darien, Connecticut; the house he designed for his parents in Essex Falls, New Jersey; Mexico City’s Reforma Towers; and unbuilt competition proposals for the New York Historical Society and Madison Square Gardens.
Inevitably, the main draw of the show is the Ulm Stadthaus itself – a project completed 22 years ago, ‘conceived as a programmatic and cultural complement to Ulm’s Münsterplatz and the historic mass of its cathedral’ and which Meier posits as wholly representative of the eponymous firm’s design philosophy.
‘While architecture is forever providing us with volumes about where we have been, it is at the same time offering us clues about where we may still be able to go,' the architect explains. 'It is an honour to have some of our early and current projects on display in a country where we are about to start several new architectural projects.'