The Getty Villa - Academic Campus


As an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of classical arts and cultures, the Getty Villa serves a diverse audience through exhibitions, conservation, scholarship, research and public programs. Through an extensive international search and competition, Machado Silvetti was commissioned by the Getty Trust for the master plan and design of the proposed expansion.

The project includes the remodeling of the existing J. Paul Getty Museum—a re-creation of a first-century Roman country house—to house the permanent collection of antiquities; the transformation of Getty's adjacent ranch house into a research facility and library; and the construction of new support facilities, public areas and gardens. New components such as the Entry Pavilion, the Fleischman Theater, the museum café and store, conservation laboratories, a scholar's library and educational facilities are strategically integrated into the new gardens and outdoor spaces, setting the original villa as the visual centerpiece. These new elements are either set with materially-rich retaining walls within terraced gardens to support the dramatic topography of the site or articulated as discrete architectural elements.

The new architecture neither contrasts nor emulates the existing classical Museum structure, but offers a fresh image for the revitalized institution through a unified landscape setting for the variety of disparate existing structures, new components, expanded gardens and public spaces. What had originally been a set of unrelated buildings and pathways is now a coherent and harmonious environment and experience. Moreover, the new architecture transforms the challenging topography into an amenity, allowing visitors to wander through the lush site along the contours of the terrain, connecting the various site landmarks, and offering privileged views of the Museum, the estate and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

The 64-acre site of the Getty project demonstrates Machado Silvetti's ability to coordinate complex and multidisciplinary design problems. We have earned a proven record of effective leadership in orchestrating and building consensus among the variety of constituents and stakeholders. Our design team worked seamlessly with the Getty curators, collections managers and conservators to ensure appropriate and state-of-the-art facilities for a world-class institution. An extensive process of community involvement was also critical to the success of this project, due to its location between two established residential neighborhoods. Advanced teaching spaces, such as seminar rooms and a lecture hall, were developed for art education programs. The process also included fully integrated construction manager participation, as well as the implementation of sequential trade packages for construction.

Year: 1996-2006
The J. Paul Getty Trust
Los Angeles, CA

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