The original Getty Museum, housed in a replica of a Roman Villa on a site overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is one of Los Angeles's most treasured landmarks. Closed for almost ten years while renovations were made to the building and the site itself was transformed into a center for the study of antiquities and conservation, the Getty Villa is now set to open late in 2005.
The Getty Villa is a lively history of the Getty Museum, its renowned antiquities collections, and its growth from a small museum in a ranch house in Malibu to its first home in a building designed to replicate what we know of the Villa dei Papiri, an ancient Roman villa partially uncovered in Herculaneum. Most engagingly, this book records the ten-year adventure in reconfiguring a beautiful, but topographically challenging, site into one that could continue to accommodate the splendid Museum building and also provide for an outdoor theater, laboratories for conservation work and research, offices for staff and visiting scholars, and an education program for adults and children.
This is a story of architectural imagination, geographical challenges, and legal hurdles, all of which have resulted in a truly unique and beautiful site. The story is an enlightening and rewarding one for anyone interested in architecture and in the difficulties posed by building on a grand scale in the twenty-first century. Beautifully illustrated throughout, the book includes 250 reproductions of works of art, photographs of both the old and the new Getty Museum, site plans, and architectural elevations.