Architecture

View of the Getty Museum from the Outer Peristyle Garden at the Getty Villa.

Constructed in the early 1970s, the Getty Villa is modeled after a first-century Roman country home.

Image of bronze lanterns at the Villa, which are like those carried along the streets of Pompeii in ancient times.

The Villa includes details inspired by antiquity, such as these bronze lanterns, which are like those carried along the streets of Pompeii in ancient times.

View of the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa.

The Villa's gardens include herbs and shrubs inspired by those grown in ancient Roman homes for food and ceremony.

View of the Villa from the scenic pathway that leads to the heart of the site.

Renovation of the Getty Villa site began in 1996. Visitors now start their visit in an open-air Entry Pavilion and walk along a scenic pathway to the heart of the site. As they walk the path, visitors see the Villa from above, peeking through the trees.

View of the  Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater, an outdoor classical theater at the Villa, based on ancient prototypes.

Visitors' first view of the Villa is through the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater, an outdoor classical theater based on ancient prototypes and added to the site in the 1996 renovation.

A recreation of an ancient Roman country house, the Getty Villa offers a taste of life in the first century A.D.

A Roman Villa Recreated—early 1970s

The Getty Villa is modeled after a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy.

The building was constructed in the early 1970s by architects who worked closely with J. Paul Getty to develop the interior and exterior details.

Constructed in the early 1970s, the Getty Villa is modeled after a first-century Roman country home.

Buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, much of the Villa dei Papiri remains unexcavated. Therefore, architects based many of the Museum's architectural and landscaping details on elements from other ancient Roman houses in the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae.

Gardens are integral to the setting of the Getty Villa, as they were in the ancient Roman home, and include herbs and shrubs inspired by those grown in ancient Roman homes for food and ceremony.

The Villa's gardens include herbs and shrubs inspired by those grown in ancient Roman homes for food and ceremony.

The Getty Villa Reimagined—1996

Renovation of the Getty Villa began in 1996. Visitors now start their visit in a spectacular open-air Entry Pavilion, then progress along a scenic pathway to the heart of the site. With each building at a slightly different elevation, visitors experience the site as an archaeological excavation, every perspective offering new discoveries.

Visitors to the Villa walk along a scenic pathway to the heart of the site, and see the Villa from above, peeking through the trees.

Visitors' first view of the Villa is through the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater. This 450-seat outdoor classical theater was also created based on ancient prototypes, and links the Cafe, Museum Store, and Auditorium to the J. Paul Getty Museum entrance.

The Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater is an outdoor classical theater based on ancient prototypes.

The renovation incorporated modern designs that harmonize with the Getty Villa's original style. Wood, bronze, glass, travertine, and wood-formed concrete echo the Villa's materials. In addition to the Entry Pavilion, a new staircase was installed, and galleries were renovated with details inspired by Roman and modern models. Skylights and windows were installed to fill the space with light.

VIDEO: Architect Jorge Silvetti discusses the renovation of the Getty Villa.
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