"Architecture is the subject of my architecture" said Richard Meier, and in the perfectly scaled open expanse
of the Getty Center's Arrival Plaza can be seen his unerring sense of order and reliance on light to shape an environment equally hospitable to nature and art.
Meier's affinity for quality and permanence are manifested in his attention to detail and choice of materials. He selected travertine, a richly nuanced form of limestone to clad the Museum and the bases of other buildings, as well as for paving.
The Center's travertine - some 16,000 tons - was quarried in Bagni di Tivoli, outside of Rome. Blocks used on facades were cut using a special technique to produce a 'cleft,' or rough, surface; fossilized leaves are visible in places.
The stone combines human scale and civic grandeur, lending the Center a sense of constancy yet providing a subtly dimensional exterior curtain upon which sunlight plays in an ever-changing show of radiance.