Studio International

Published 01/06/2006

The American architect, Richard Meier, recently completed a somewhat controversial museum in Rome. The Ara Pacis Museum is designed to house only one exhibit in its off-white sheath (all Meier buildings tend to be white modern). There stands the exhibit, a massive altar that could not be moved. Meier had correctly intended not to detract in any way from the altar with his elegant container: it is actually composed of off-white travertine, which glows white in the reflected midday sun. Nor does direct sunlight ever touch the altar itself, although the space is filled with reflected light.