The J Paul Getty Center sits majestically atop the Santa Monica Mountains in Brentwood, and provides a visually exciting experience for anyone remotely interested in architecture. J Paul Getty originally opened his museum out of his home in Pacific Palisades in 1954, and a wing modeled after an Italian villa was built in 1974. The Getty Villa outgrew itself, and a second branch of the museum,the Getty Center, was planned following Getty's death in 1976. Richard Meier was selected as the architect in 1984 -the same year that Meier was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize -though the building would not open to the public until late 1997.
One arrives at the Getty Center via a tram that carries passengers from the parking facility near the base of the site to the arrival plaza on top. The Getty Center is a collection of travertine clad buildings that relies on and interacts with its site 900 feet above Interstate 405. The buildings are structurally comprised of steel and concrete, and clad in 1.2 million square feet of travertine weighing 16,000 tons. The use of stone reminisces great, public monuments of times past while considerable use of the color white for interior spaces is typical of Meier.
The buildings play off of one another and their site, and it's easy to spend more than an hour exploring the grounds before even entering any of the exhibitions. The Central Garden was designed by Robert Irwin, and the other gardens were designed by landscape architect Laurie Olin.
Pudleaux Tourism offers a variety of architectural and sightseeing tours of Los Angeles. Each LA tour offers a unique way to experience this vast metropolis and learn about Los Angeles' fascinating architectural history. These guided tours visit a medley of areas in and around Los Angeles, including: Downtown LA, Silver Lake, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica, and Venice, to see and discuss the work of architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, R.M. Schindler, John Lautner, Charles Eames, and Frank Gehry among others.