Architect Richard Meier retires amid restructuring at his firm
After harassment allegations against its founder and several departures, the firm is changing its name
Following a series of high-profile departures from his firm and allegations of misconduct, architect Richard Meier has retired.
George Miller, the former managing partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, will join the firm as chief operating officer and partner, and Dukho Yeon, a 30-year veteran of Richard Meier & Partners, was also named partner and is taking over as lead designer.
Meanwhile, the firm is rebranding as Meier Partners and spinning off its Los Angeles operations into a separate company, STUDIOpractice. That newly created firm will be run by Michael Palladino and Jim Crawford, who have led Meier’s Los Angeles operations for the last 25 years.
Richard Meier, who founded the firm in 1963, will remain available for consultation upon client request, while his daughter, furniture designer Ana Meier, is staying on as an advisor to the firm, the company announced.
Architectural Record was the first to report Meier’s retirement. According to the firm, the Meier family continues to “hold its longstanding stake in the company,” but Miller and Yeon will now have equity stakes as well.
The news comes more than three years after several women publicly accused Meier of sexual harassment. Meier later announced that he would “step back” from the firm’s day-to-day operations, though he remained a presence at the company’s Midtown office.
At the time, Meier said had no plans to retire. Still, Benhard Karpf was promoted to managing principal, and three staffers, Vivian Lee, Reynolds Logan and Yeon were made principals. Karpf, Lee and Logan have since left the firm.
Following a New York Times investigation detailing allegations of misconduct, institutions and developers began distancing themselves from the famous architect. Cornell University’s architectural school, Meier’s alma mater, decided against naming its department chair after him, and Sotheby’s Auction House closed an exhibit of his work in New York. A picture of Meier, along with the two other “starchitects” associated with luxury towers dubbed Waterline Square, disappeared from the project’s website.
Meier, who won the Pritzker Prize in 1984, is best known for designing the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The firm recently completed 685 First Avenue, a residential tower for the Solow Company, a perennial client of Meier’s.