Kevin Roche

Roche, Kevin, 1922–, Irish-American architect, b. Dublin, grad. National Univ. of Ireland, Dublin (1943) and, after immigrating (1948) to the United States, studied Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, with Mies van der Rohe. In 1950 he joined Eero Saarinen's firm, becoming (1954–61) the principal design associate. After Saarinen's death, Roche and his future partner, John Dinkeloo (1918–81), completed his mentor's projects, and Roche also executed his first major commission, the Oakland Museum, a series of low buildings, terraces, and gardens bound to an overall infrastructure. An urban modernist, Roche is best known for his buildings of the 1960s and 70s, structures of great intelligence and power that respond to the unique needs of each site and situation. The Ford Foundation headquarters (1968), New York City, is probably his best-known building; it features a sloping 12-story atrium garden with glass-walled offices on two sides, massive granite columns, and steel beams. His firm's other outstanding buildings include the Knights of Columbus headquarters (1969), New Haven; the College Life Insurance Co. building (1971), Indianapolis; One United Nations Plaza (1975), New York City; and the General Foods building (1977), Rye, N.Y. Among his later works are the sports center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2002) and the Kimmel Center (2003), New York Univ. Roche was the recipient of the 1982 Pritzker Prize.

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