‘New York Five’ Architect Endows New AAP Position

Endowed by a preeminent architect of the “New York Five,” the Richard Meier Chair of the Department of Architecture will be occupied by Prof. Andrea Simitch ’79, architecture, the University announced Monday.

A member of a group of five New York City architects, whose work was photographed for a Museum of Modern Art display, Meier was a recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, one of the most prestigious in the architecture field.

According to Prof. Lily Chi, architecture, Simitch was given the position “for being, like Richard, the personification of Cornell’s historic excellence in architectural education.”

AAP dean Kent Kleinman said that Meier’s endowment “consummates a long relationship between the college and one of its most renowned graduates.”

In addition to regular contribution to the Cornell fund, Meier has also funded the Richard Meier Assistant Professorship in Architecture and two awards for graduate-level architecture students.

“Previous gifts [from Meier] have had tremendous, concrete impact on our programs in attracting talented faculty and students to Cornell,” Chi said. “His work has inspired generations of design students, including that of my own, so his acknowledgement and support of our work in the department is incredibly moving — a great inspiration in itself.”

Meier credits Cornell with providing him a “very good education.”

Cornell’s school of architecture comes out on top in terms of undergraduate education in architecture and it deserves that recognition,” Meier said.

Meier said that he hopes “that the college of architecture will remain as strong [and] as good as it has been over the years.”

After working at different architectural firms for a few years, Meier began his own practice in 1963. Based in New York and Los Angeles, Richard Meier Partners grew to become a renowned brand today in the field of architecture and has received 30 National Honor Awards and over 50 Regional Awards.

Some of the most prominent works of Meier include The Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Jubilee Church in Rome and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.