In March 2018, at the height of the #MeToo movement, the New York Times published an article detailing allegations from five women of sexual harassment against Richard Meier. The Pritzker Prize laureate, 86, admitted to being “deeply troubled and embarrassed” by the accounts and took an extended leave from his namesake firm, which he founded in 1963. The fallout reverberated with devastating swiftness—clients immediately distanced themselves from the firm, Sotheby’s canceled a solo exhibition of his work, and his alma mater Cornell University declined an endowment to name its department chair after him. The firm never quite recovered from the fallout, acquiring virtually no new stateside work in the three years since the allegations surfaced.
Now, the office formerly known as Richard Meier & Partners has announced a total rebrand and Meier’s formal departure. Newly reinvigorated as Meier Partners, the office has undergone a leadership restructuring that elevates 30-year employee Dukho Yeon to lead designer and George H. Miller, former managing partner at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, as chief operating officer. According to a news release, Yeon and Miller “remain committed to creating uplifting architecture, distinguished by the features that have long been the hallmark of the practice: an emphasis on lyrical composition, a passion for exquisite materiality, and a reverence for natural light.”
Michael Palladino and Jim Crawford, who ran the firm’s California branch for 25 years, plans to spin his office into an independent firm called STUDIOpractice. Meier’s family will continue to hold its longstanding stake, and his daughter, Ana, will remain an advisor to the firm. Meier, meanwhile, who is focusing on painting from his Long Island home, will continue consulting for clients—but only those who specifically ask for him.