Since the opening in 1997, The Getty Center has become one of the most popular southern California destinations for local, national and international visitors. In an effort to streamline public access to the facility, Richard Meier & Partners was asked to evaluate and refine the vehicle and pedestrian processing areas which are located at the North Arrival Plaza.
In addition to vehicle traffic pattern adjustments, additional cafeteria, gift shop and public waiting areas were designed in response to the larger than expected public demand.
The new gift shop and café were positioned along the western edge of the parking structure roof plaza as a service to visitors waiting in the tram queuing area and to visitors leaving the site. The building envelope is opaque to the access road and western exposure, and entirely glassed, opening to the landscaped plaza. The parti is linear in response to the parking structure, tram guideway, and existing trees that define the start of a three-quarter mile transport to The Getty Center.