Richard Meier’s Atheneum

401 N. Arthur St., New Harmony, Indiana 47631

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The  Atheneum  was  a  breakthrough  commission  in  Richard  Meier’s  career.  It  was  his  first  major  commission;  and  the  model  and  architectural  drawings  are  now  part  of  the  permanent  architecture  collection  at  New  York’s  Museum  of  Modern  Art.  Construction  began  in  1975  and  was  completed  in  1979.  The  structure  is  clad  in  white  porcelain  panels  and  glass  attached  to  a  steel  frame.

Meier  works  in  the  International  Style,  based  on  purity,  power,  and  manipulation  of  geometry.  Pedestrian  circulation  through  the  building  is  a  continuous  experience  all  the  way  to  the  roof  terrace  and,  from  the  ramp,  to  the  community  beyond.  The  Atheneum  has  received  numerous  design  awards,  including  the  Progressive  Architecture  Award  for  1979,  the  American  Institute  of  Architects  Award  in  1982,  and  the  Twenty-five  Year  Award  in  2008.

 

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