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Pritzker Laureate Kevin Roche dies aged 96

Ireland Architecture News - Mar 5, 2019 - 04:26   2222 views

Pritzker Laureate Kevin Roche dies aged 96

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kevin Roche has died at age 96, Roche is known for his legacy of built works that will far surpass his career, which spanned over six decades. Roche died on March 1, 2019 at his home in Guilford, Connecticut. 

Roche, was one of the easiest winners of the Pritzker Prize in 1982, was an Irish-born American architect. Roche was recognized for his vast institutional and corporate spaces that satisfied respective communities and their environments. Especially he is know with the masterplan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1968), and much of the expansion that followed, including the Lehman Pavilion, Temple of Dendur, and the reopened American and Islamic wings. 

Pritzker Laureate Kevin Roche dies aged 96

Master planning for the museum The Met with the American Wing. Image courtesy of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates

Other significant projects of Roche include the Oakland Museum of California (Oakland, CA ,1965), Ford Foundation (New York, NY, 1968), General Foods headquarters (Rye Brook, NY, 1982), and J.P. Morgan Bank headquarters (New York, NY, 1990).

Kevin Roche started his practice in the 1950s with John Dinkeloo. Then they established Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, L.L.C. (Roche Dinkeloo), located outside New Haven, Connecticut, is a direct outgrowth of Eero Saarinen and Associates. 

After Saarinen's passing in 1961, the practice was subsequently taken over by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo. Together they worked to resolve the remaining design issues on Saarinen’s major projects including the Dulles International Airport, the St. Louis Gateway Arch, and the CBS Headquarters in New York.

Pritzker Laureate Kevin Roche dies aged 96

Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts. Image courtesy of Pritzker Prize

The office is a recipient of the AIA Firm Award, which is the highest honor bestowed on an architecture firm by the American Institute of Architects. Since its founding in 1966 Roche Dinkeloo has consistently produced exceptional buildings tailored to the distinct goals of their clients.

Roche Dinkeloo is engaged in major projects throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and provides complete master planning, programming, architectural design, interior design, working drawings, specification and construction administration services. 

Pritzker Laureate Kevin Roche dies aged 96

Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates' 60 Wall Street in New York. Image courtesy of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates

His firm has designed a variety of institutional and corporate projects including 38 corporate headquarters, three hotel/apartment buildings, eight museums, numerous research facilities, theaters, schools, factories, performing arts centers, private residences, and the Central Park Zoo in New York. For the past 45 years, Kevin Roche has been the architect for the master planning and expansion of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, designing all of its new wings and installing many of its collections.

"Architecture is an achievement that comes from the commitment of the owner and the understanding of the architect that the work to be realized will be a response not only to the immediate requirements but also to the broader concerns of the community, the accommodation of the natural and cultural environment, and the belief that the final responsibility is not only to the user and the community, but ultimately to posterity," said Kevin Roche in an office statement. 

Pritzker Laureate Kevin Roche dies aged 96

Ford Foundation Headquarters in New York. Image courtesy of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates

The 1982 the Pritzker Jury stated in its citation, "he is no easy man to describe: an innovator who does not worship innovation for itself, a professional unconcerned with trends, a quiet humble man who conceives and executes great works, a generous man of strictest standards for his own work. In this award to Kevin Roche we recognize and honor an architect who persists in being an individual, and has for all of us, through his work and his person, made a difference for the better."

Top image: Kevin Roche (2016). Image © Gerald Wenner 

> via Pritzker Prize