Prtizker Prize-winner Richard Meier has confirmed he will take a six-month leave of absence from his New York-based practice amid allegations of sexual harassment
The reported incidents include the architect exposing himself on two separate occasions in his New York apartment.
The statement from Meier reads: ’I am deeply troubled and embarrassed by the accounts of several women who were offended by my words and actions. While our recollections may differ, I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my behaviour.
’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.’
During Meier’s absence Michael Palladino, partner and head of the company’s Los Angeles office, will oversee all of the firm’s operations and projects.
Palladino said: ‘We believe that women should feel comfortable and empowered in all workplaces – including ours.’
The US architect, who won the Pritzker Prize in 1984, is best known for his all-white buildings and his Getty Centre in Los Angeles (1997).
A spokesperson for the Pritzker Prize said: ’Richard Meier was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1984, based on his architectural merit at that time. We do not comment on the personal lives of our laureates, but do consider all sexual allegations to be serious, as abusive behaviour towards any individual is unacceptable.’
In 2013 Meier supported calls for Denise Scott Brown to be awarded the Pritzker Prize alongside Robert Venturi, who won the prize in 1991.
His first and only building in the UK, a large country house in Oxfordshire, completed in 2016.
Richard Meier & Partners is among several big-name practices working on a new residential scheme on the outskirts of Prague. The practice has designed an apartment block and recently revealed designs for two adjacent villas.