|location||California, Pacific Palisades|
In 1997, the Getty Villa (a faithful re-creation of the Villa dei Papiri, in Herculaneum, Italy) began an extensive renovation following the completion of the Getty Center, a few miles to the east. The result is one of hidden architectural gems in the Southern California architecture scene. Machado and Silvetti have created a Modernist archaeological site nestled into a small canyon alongside the aging villa. Often times, a new addition to a museum either copies the existing style or reacts against it. Here, however, the architects have pulled off something quite extraordinary, a perfect melding of a Modernist palette with a traditional style, both visually and functionally. The visual layering of elements evokes the feeling of an archaeological dig, where the architecture is revealed rather than built. At times it is impossible to tell where the renovation transitions into the existing.