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Kevin Roche

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

Born in Dublin, Roche 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 Terminal 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 civil engineer 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.

Other Information

  • Name : Kevin Roche
  • Nationality : American
  • Birth date : June 14, 1922
  • Birth place : Dublin
  • Education : University College Dublin (1945)
  • Firm : Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates

Notable Projects

  • 1966 – Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California
  • 1967 – Ford Foundation Building, New York City, which features a dramatic 12-story jungle atrium
  • 1969 – Knights of Columbus Building (New Haven, Connecticut)
  • 1969 – Post Office, Columbus, Indiana
  • 1969 – Eleven buildings on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York
  • 1972 – New Haven Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut. (demolished, January 2007)
  • 1975 – U. N. Plaza, New York City
  • 1975 – Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • 1981 – Power Center for the Performing Arts, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1983 – 800 Westchester Avenue for General Foods, Rye Brook, New York
  • 1988 – Bouygues World Headquarters, Saint-Quentin-Yvelines, France
  • 1992 – Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1997 – Millenia Singapore Office Buildings and Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Singapore
  • 2001 – New York University, Palladium Residence Hall, New York, NY
  • 2003 – Shiodome City Center, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2003 – New York University, Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York, NY
  • 2005 – Ciudad Grupo Santander, Madrid, Spain
  • 2005 – Securities and Exchange Commission Headquarters, Washington, DC


  • Pritzker Prize (1982)
  • Gold Medal Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters (1990)
  • AIA Gold Medal (1993)


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