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The Getty Center

I'm dividing the Getty Center photos into three entries. This entry focuses on the built structures, the next on the gardens and the third is the lovely view.

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The Getty Center is funded by the trust of John Paul Getty and designed by the contemporary American architect Richard Meier. The Center was created to become the cultural heart of Los Angeles, which is why it is a center housing many buildings rather than just a museum. Meier came up with the design while sitting in the hills that would become the home for the Getty Center. His designs rely heavily on the landscape that surrounded him and you can see patterns from the hills and the city repeating in the architecture. Actually all the design aspects repeat throughout the different buildings that make up the Getty Center so thoroughly that all squares blocks that make up the walkways, walls and frames would all match up in a perfectly divisible ratio, should you wish to take the time to do the math.

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Some of the community had concerns about the new massive Center that about to move into the neighbourhood. One of their concerns came from one of Meier's signature design elements, the brilliant white that he colours his creations. He is so married to this specific bright white, that the hue has been named after him, "Meier White". The community was very concerned that this luminous white under the bright California sun would become an eyesore, and so thankfully, he relented and painted the Center a much softer off-white. It was quite bright enough up there with the sun reflecting off the paving stones and the buildings, if he had gone with the Meier White I think it may have been a bit unbearable in the midday sun.

Another way in which the Trust was able to work with the community was by building the helicopter landing pad below. The base is filled with water so that firefighters can easily land and fill up their water tanks to fight fires in the dry fire-prone neighbouring hills.

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Below we see another example of of the symmetry that Meier worked so hard to incorporate. At the back end of the Center is a matching round structure, but instead of being used as a landing pad, this one is used as a garden.

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I thought about putting the next two photos in the upcoming Gardens entry, but these trees are such a good example of the kind of precision and thought that went into the design element that I had to include it here. You can see from the first photo that there are several trees in this line. but take one step to the side and you can see only one tree. Meier managed to created many different spots to test your perspective.

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Comments

Wow! That tree thing is really neat!
You make me want to go back to LA for a "do over". On my two day visit I didn't visit the Getty Center or hike in the Hollywood Hills. I had no idea they were so truly wild looking.

I missed the Getty the first time I was in LA so there was no way I was going to miss it again!!! I could go back quite a few more times without getting bored.

Oh and I didn't mention it in this entry, but if you do find yourself at the Getty, have a look a restaurant. Its a bit pricey, but the food is divine.

I'm sure you'll be back in LA at some point, so now you've got a mini itinerary!