One could easily envy Richard Meier for the materials he uses in building his homes for wealthy clients. The facades are covered with enamelled metallic sheets and the enormous windows are unprotected, without curtains or shutters. Nothing disturbs the pure design of glass walls and flat roofs with as many skylights as necessary. One has the impression Meier has managed to evade the imperatives that limit the work of other architects. His houses, like large mock-ups, are extraordinarily simple insofar as their elements are concerned but the elements themselves are used to organize deliberately complex spaces. In the Giovannitti House, all the spaces are related amongst themselves. It is a small villa for a couple designed within a sacred discipline, cubic geometry, which is emphasized not only by regular lines but also through walls traced with a grid like a school notebook of graphing paper.
The idea of a crossword puzzle as a stage in the evolution of the modern villa, an idea that can be traced to Le Corbusier, is particularly dear to Meier. Like a three-dimensional crossword puzzle, the house has solids and hollows, vertical and horizontal surfaces, and only rarely admits the contrast of an oblique plane... [+]