Reed College hosts a website dedicated to the spectacular architecture of the Getty Center. The architectural design firm, Richard Meier & Partners, is also responsible for another stunning and widely praised structure, the Jubilee Church in Rome.
One thing that immediately jumped out at me is the use of shape. Curves contrasting orthogonal elements and angular elements, often nesting one inside the other, or integrally constructed together and opposed to each other, or even echoing each other.
The second thing was texture. Notice how the texture of the stone contrasts the smoothness of the tile, and how it has the effect of accenting each?
Finally, we have contrast of color. Greens against tans against against blue. It creates some remarkable effects. Astonishingly good work. Of course, when you’ve got a billion dollars to play with it’s amazing what you can create. I wonder what, for instance, the Palace at Versailles cost in year 2000 dollars?