Museums + Galleries

The Getty Center

Richard Meier & Partners
Los Angeles, California
940,000 SF
LEED Certified 2005
1997; interior renovations 2007; central plant study 2019
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© Susan Fisher Plotner/Altieri

The new almost 1 million-square foot museum complex built as a single project was unprecedented at the time.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is one of the largest arts organizations in the world. The J. Paul Getty Museum was originally opened in 1954 by oil tycoon J. Paul Getty as a home for his collection of artworks. The collection comprises antiquities, European art, and international photography and was first housed in a wing added to Getty’s home. In 1974, the collections outgrew the location and were moved to a new building, the Getty Villa, a lavish re-creation of an ancient Roman home uncovered at Herculaneum. Upon Getty’s death in 1976, the museum became the most richly endowed in the world and, after many years of planning, The Getty Center, a six-building complex on 110 acres in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, opened in 1997.

Altieri was integral to the design, construction, and completion of the new complex, designing all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, site utilities, and fire protection systems for the Center and overseeing implementation of the designs throughout the construction process. We were on the job from 1986 through to completion in 1997. The project represented an unprecedented undertaking: the construction of an almost 1,000,000 sf museum complex as a single project. The project met and advanced state-of-the-art in museum technology in almost every area, including California’s rigorous Title 24 energy legislation. The Getty Center was awarded LEED Certified eight years after opening. Certification was based on Altieri’s designs from a period preceding the introduction and implementation of the now well-established LEED process.

Images © Susan Fisher Plotner/Altieri, Aerial courtesy of The Getty Center

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Images © Susan Fisher Plotner/Altieri, Aerial courtesy of The Getty Center

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