The Getty Villa | SPF:architects
Getty Villa renovation and expansion, malibu, los angeles architecture, Getty Villa museum, Cultural architecture, Getty Villa fountain, architect  Machado Silvetti, Pacific Palisades, getty villa architect

The Getty Villa

As executive architects working with design architect Machado Silvetti, we were responsible for construction management in the renovation and expansion of the Getty Villa Museum and its various supporting structures and facilities. The renovation of The Getty Villa Museum consisted of several pieces: a museum update, the new Getty Conservation Institute, and an expanded Visitor Center—all of which culminated into a 210,000-square-foot undertaking for the J. Paul Getty Trust.

To begin, an interior renovation was completed on the original structure. The older museum’s constricted spaces were inadequate for the larger antiquity installations planned for the new museum and not able to safely accommodate the anticipated increase in guests. In the renovation, the museum’s interior spaces were rationalized to create more visibility, improve circulation, and bring in more natural light. To ensure the integrity of the original architecture would be preserved, the renovation incorporated modern designs that harmonize with the Getty Villa’s original style. For example, wood, bronze, glass, travertine, and wood-formed concrete echo the Villa’s original materials.

Crucial to the overhaul was a new entry sequence for visitors. Now starting at a beautiful open-air entry pavilion, you proceed along a hillside path offering occasional glimpses of the museum before arriving at the outdoor theater and the museum's front entrance . The overall organization of the site uses the imagined idea of an archaeological dig around a restored Roman imperial house, employing materials different from those of the Villa itself to suggest geological layers revealed in the imagined excavation.

Works also gave way to a 500-seat outdoor amphitheater that links the cafe, museum store, and auditorium to the J. Paul Getty Museum entrance and Fleischman Theater.

On the North Campus, over 50,000-square feet of new office, food service spaces, and laboratory facilities where the museum’s world-renowned collection is meticulously cared for by the Getty Conservation Institute was added.

Getty Villa renovation and expansion, Getty Villa museum, malibu, Pacific Palisades, los angeles architecture, architect  Machado Silvetti, getty villa architect


  • Los Angeles Business Council, Grand Prize Award 2006
  • Westside Prize, Westside Urban Forum 2006
  • Los Angeles Business Council, Public Architecture 2006
  • Southern California ACI Award, Outstanding + Innovative use of Concrete 2006
  • AIA|LA Presidential Award 2006