Architect Richard Meier, FAIA, the founder of New York–based firm Richard Meier & Partners Architects and a winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, will be stepping down from his firm for a period of six months following accusations of sexual harassment. In an article published today in The New York Times, five women detailed interactions with Meier:
"Two of the women have described incidents over the past 10 years in which they were sent to Mr. Meier’s New York apartment, where he exposed himself, according to interviews with one of the women and several former employees of the firm.
A third woman said in an interview that Mr. Meier grabbed her underwear through her dress at a firm holiday party, and a fourth said he asked her to undress at his apartment so she could be photographed.
A fifth woman, who did not work for the firm, described an incident with Mr. Meier in Los Angeles in the 1980s, when she said she had to flee his home after he forcefully pulled her onto a bed."
The firm issued a press release today noting Meier's leave from the firm:
RICHARD MEIER TAKES LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM ARCHITECTURE FIRM
New York, March 13th, 2018 – Richard Meier & Partners Architects announced today that Managing Partner Richard Meier will take a six-month leave of absence from the architecture firm.
“I am deeply troubled and embarrassed by the accounts of several women who were offended by my words and actions,” Meier said. “While our recollections may differ, I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my behavior.
"Effective today, I am taking a six-month leave of absence as Founder and Managing Partner. I am leaving the company in the hands of a dedicated and outstanding senior management team, which has spent the past three decades serving our clients and building our firm’s success."
While Richard Meier is away, Michael Palladino, partner and head of the company’s Los Angeles office, will oversee all of the firm’s operations and projects.
“Richard has built a world-class design practice and we will continue the strong collaboration between our two offices, as we continue to build on that legacy,” Palladino said. “We believe that women should feel comfortable and empowered in all workplaces – including ours.”
In addition to Palladino and James R. Crawford in Los Angeles, four associate partners will oversee the day-to-day operations of the firm’s New York headquarters. They are:
-Vivian Lee, AIA, has been responsible for the design, management and construction of residential, hospitality, and office projects in Asia and Europe, and most recently completed the Teachers Village charters schools and residential buildings in Newark, NJ.
-Reynolds Logan, FAIA, is currently the Associate Partner-in-charge of One Waterline Square, a massive mixed-use and high-rise residential community that connects the Hudson River and Central Park.
-Bernhard Karpf, FAIA, is one of the firm’s principal design partners. His projects include leading the design efforts on iconic projects such as the Surf Club in Surfside, FL.
-Dukho Yeon, AIA, has served as a principal designer, managing and directing teams on projects around the globe ranging from houses to museums, hotels, high-rise office and residential buildings and urban design. His projects include the Seamarq Hotel and 685 First Avenue in New York, NY.