Born in Newark, Richard Meier studied architecture at Cornell University. He tried to join the office of Le Corbusier, but the Swiss-French architect wasn’t hiring Americans, jealous of so many winning international design awards.   Meier worked briefly for Skidmore Owings & Merrill then for Marcel Breuer. He set up his own office in 1963 and has been an icon of architecture ever since.

He was one of the New York Five (with Charles Gwathmey, Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, and John Hejduk) who dominated avant-garde American architecture in the 1960s and ’70s. They were the subject of a meeting of CASE (Conference of Architects for the Study of the Environment) held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1969 and a book published in 1972.

Meier’s awards are many; these are but a few. In 1984 he became the youngest recipient of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture. In 1989, he received the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 1993 he received the Deutscher Architektur Preis, and in 1992 the French Government awarded him the honor of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 1995 he was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1997 he received the AIA Gold Medal as well as the Praemium Imperiale from the Japanese Government.

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