The Getty Center in Los Angeles, California is an architectural campus of the Getty Museum. The $1.35 billion center opened to the general public on December 16th, 1997, and is renowned for its gardens, architecture, and historic views overlooking Los Angeles. The museum is dedicated to the late sculptor Arthur M. Sackler, an American contemporary artist. The center’s main entrance is at the center of the park and has been designed to mimic the Vitruvian arc. It includes a large auditorium as well as smaller gardens. The Getty Center is home to numerous exhibits and services, including a museum, a theater, a cafeteria, a conference center, a library, and a food court.
The Garden of Light is a dramatic outdoor sculpture garden designed by Daniel Libeskind. The four eighty-two pound lights themselves are made of fiberglass and powered by six generators. The sculpture is powered by nine solar cells and will continue to run all winter under the watchful care of a local company. The sculpture was completed in spring and will be up and running by the end of the summer. The completed garden is the size of twenty-five football fields, which is the same size as the Staples Center.
The Botanical Gardens of the Center are designed to resemble a tropical rain forest. The gardens are designed around a central courtyard surrounded by several smaller courtyards. The botanical gardens of the Center were inspired by tropical landscapes. In one section of the courtyard there are trees that have the appearance of palm trees, a palm tree being represented by a palm leaf, and a tall ficus tree being represented by a palm tree. Other trees in the courtyard have a simulated bark texture to them.
The African Violets Farm offers visitors a view of butterflies gathered for their eggs. The garden can be viewed from the Barnichedron Gallery, a structure that was built to mimic an ancient barn. The butterflies of the farm feed on a number of plant varieties native to Africa, including the African violet, cattail, lady bug, sunflower, and other members of the butterfly family. It is a one hundred and ninety-two acre year-round farm with two buildings: one building is dedicated to displaying the different species of butterflies in a natural habitat setting while the other building houses the majority of the plants used in the natural habitat.
The Balboa Park gardens were designed and placed along the San Diego-La Jolla beach. The gardens are designed in a semi-natural state with sandstone pavers and boulders. The gardens are open to any kind of weather. The Center has commissioned twenty-five landscape architects to create gardens that are representative of Balboa Park’s climate and landscape. The project was completed in three phases: installation of the Balboa Park Conservatory, a structure that is visible from all parts of the park; construction of the Bazaar Del Mundo on the second floor of the Park Conservatory, a food marketplace selling local produce, sandwiches, fresh seafood, and coffee; and installation of landscaping gardens.
The gardens in the Getty Center Los Angeles are designed and placed in accordance with the natural environment of the region. The parks are managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The Center’s gardens have won several awards for their beauty, but their most prominent competitor may be the Universal Studios theme park. The parks’ gardens are, according to the Center, the representative of California’s history as well as its natural environment. The gardens were selected to complement the natural surroundings, so that “the natural and historic wonders of California’s beautiful High Desert region could be seen together.”