Richard Meier studied architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York state. In the years that followed he worked in Marchel Breuer's New York architecture practice and for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. In 1963 Richard Meier opened an architecture practice of his own in New York city.
In 1962 Richard Meier was made a professor of design at Cooper Union in Manhatten; later he would also teach architecture and design at Princeton, Syracuse, Yale and Harvard. In the 1960s Richard Meier designed numerous private houses and housing in the International Modern style.
In 1969 Richard Meier was one of the "New York Five" exhibiting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the others were Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, and John Hejduk. Between 1975 and 1979 Richard Meier built the Atheneum in New Harmony, Indiana, and in 1977 the Bronx Development Center, attracting attention worldwide with these buildings. There were followed between 1979 and 1984 by the Museum für Kunsthandwerk in Frankfurt am Main and, in 1981, by the Renault company headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt.
Richard Meier designed the building for the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1992 Richard Meier was commissioned to design a new building for them Getty Center in Los Angeles. Other museums Richard Meier designed are the Burda Museum in Baden-Baden and the Arp Museum in Rolandseck near Remagen.
Richard Meier's buildings are notable for clarity of structure and the architect's inimitable style, which can be described by the words white, light and space. Richard Meier calls light his "favorite and most versatile building material".
Richard Meier is one of the most important living architect. As a designer, Richard Meier is known for the armchair he designed in 1982 for the library of the Guggenheim Museum and other furnishings he designed for Knoll International. In 1983 Richard Meier designed the "Tea & Coffee Piazza" silver service for Alessi, which was limited to an edition of 99.