Kevin Roche

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Kevin Roche (born June 14, 1922) is an award-winning 20th-century Irish-American architect. He is famous for his creative work with glass.

Born in Dublin, Roche spent his formative years in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork before he graduated from University College Dublin in 1945. He then worked with Michael Scott from 1945-1946. From summer to fall of 1946 he worked with Maxwell Fry in London and in 1947 returned to Michael Scott’s studio. He applied for graduate studies at Harvard, Yale, and Illinois Institute of Technology and was accepted at all three institutions, and left Ireland in 1948 to study under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1949 he worked at the planning office for the United Nations Headquarters building in New York City. He was recruited in 1950 by Eero Saarinen and joined the firm of Saarinen, Saarinen and Associates, which subsequently became Eero Saarinen and Associates. In 1954, he became the Principal Design Associate to Eero Saarinen and assisted him on all of the projects from that time until Eero Saarinen's death in September 1961. Roche completed 12 major unfinished Saarinen projects, including some of Saarinen's best-known work: the Gateway Arch, the expressionistic TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport in New York, Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, the strictly modern John Deere Headquarters in Moline, Illinois, and CBS Headquarters in New York City.

In 1966 Roche and John Dinkeloo changed the name of Eero Saarinen and Associates to Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates upon completion of Saarinen's projects. Together, their first major commission was the Oakland Museum of California, a complex for the art, natural history, and cultural history of California with a design featuring interrelated terraces and roof gardens.

Roche has master planned and designed diverse facilities noted for their advances in design concepts. His completed works include 8 museums, 38 corporate headquarters, 7 research facilities, performing arts centers, theaters, campus buildings for 6 universities, and the Central Park Zoo. In 1967 he created the master plan for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and since that date has designed all of the new wings and the installation of many collections.

Dinkeloo died in 1981. Roche continues the practice with two partners in Hamden, Connecticut.

Among other awards, Roche received the Pritzker Prize in 1982, the Gold Medal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1990, and the AIA Gold Medal in 1993.

Notable works

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