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Scandal-hit Richard Meier to step down

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Richard Meier is to be replaced at the helm of the practice he founded, seven months after allegations surfaced that the Prtizker Prize-winner exposed himself to female staff

Richard Meier & Partners Architects announced that long-standing design leader Bernhard Karpf had become managing principal of its New York headquarters and would ‘manage the firm’.

Meier said in March that he would take a six-month leave of absence from the practice he founded in 1963 after detailed allegations of sexual harassment by five women were reported in the New York Times.

The practice this week said he would ‘step back from day-to-day activities’ to ‘support the leadership transition’. Meier would remain available to colleagues and clients ‘who seek his vast experience and counsel’, the firm added.

In a statement in March, Meier said: ‘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 apologise to anyone who was offended by my behaviour.’

The practice this week also announced the promotion of Vivian Lee, Reynolds Logan and Dukho Yeon to principals, responsible for new business and project execution.

Michael Palladino, head of the company’s Los Angeles office, oversaw the firm’s operations and projects during Meier’s absence and will continue to lead West Coast activities in conjunction with fellow partner James Crawford.

Palladino said: ‘I appreciate and support Richard Meier’s decision to undertake this transition. Bernhard Karpf is a talented architect with 30 years of experience and is committed to the design and execution philosophy and vision of the firm. I have every confidence that with the support of the team in the New York office, this leadership transition will be seamless and successful.’

Karpf joined Richard Meier & Partners in 1988.

He said: “It is an honour to lead this talented team as we build upon the body of work we have created over a half-century. Richard’s vision has produced a unique architectural design language that is instantly recognisable and internationally celebrated. I am committed to support both the New York and Los Angeles offices as we continue to evolve and grow.’

In 2013 Meier supported calls for Denise Scott Brown to be awarded the Pritzker Prize alongside Robert Venturi, who won the prize in 1991.

Meier’s only building in the UK, a large country house in Oxfordshire, completed in 2016.

Richard Meier & Partners is among several big-name practices, including a raft of emerging British firms, working on a new residential scheme on the outskirts of Prague. The US practice has designed an apartment block and recently revealed designs for two adjacent villas. 

Read an interview with Meier from 2015

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