Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

The end of the architect profile

Illustration by Franziska Barczyk.

My first cover story was a profile of Richard Meier for Graphis Magazine. It was 1998 and the Getty Center was about to open. The magazine did not have the budget to send me to Los Angeles, but it had photos, so I was dispatched to Meier’s office on Manhattan’s west side to see what I could get out of the man in an hour.

Meier has recently been in the news as the first major architect to be publicly accused of sexual harassment by a cadre of former employees. He is taking a six-month leave from the approximately 50-person firm that bears his name. He didn’t sexually harass me; I was only patronized.

In the first (white) Meier monograph, John Hejduk quotes Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick on the meaning of Meier’s signature color, white: “… the thought of whiteness, when divorced from more kindly associations, and coupled with any object terrible in itself, [serves] to heighten that terror to the furthest bounds.”