Kevin Roche

Kevin Roche
Born Eamonn Kevin Roche
(1922-06-14) June 14, 1922
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality American
Occupation Architect
Awards AIA Gold Medal
Twenty-five Year Award
American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medals
Pritzker Prize
Website Official Website for Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates
Practice Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates
Buildings Convention Centre Dublin, Head Office for Bouygues, Lafayette Tower, Shiodome City Center, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Museum of Jewish Heritage, Santander Central Hispano, 1101 New York Avenue, Ford Foundation, John Deere World Headquarters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California

Eamonn Kevin Roche, FAIA (born June 14, 1922) is an Irish-born American Pritzker Prize-winning architect. He has been responsible for the design/master planning for over 200 built projects in both the U.S. and abroad. These projects include eight museums, 38 corporate headquarters, seven research facilities, performing arts centers, theaters, and campus buildings for six universities. In 1967 he created the master plan for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and since then has designed all of the new wings and installation of many collections including the recently reopened American[1] and Islamic wings.

Among other awards, Roche received the Pritzker Prize in 1982,[2] the Gold Medal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1990, and the AIA Gold Medal in 1993.

In 2012, Roche was inducted into Irish America magazine's Hall of Fame.[3]


Born in Dublin, but raised in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Roche graduated from University College Dublin in 1945. He then worked with Michael Scott from 1945-46. From summer to fall of 1946 he worked with Maxwell Fry in London. In 1947 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. In 1950, he joined the firm of Eero Saarinen and Associates.[4] In 1954, he became the Principal Design Associate to Saarinen and assisted him on all of the projects from that time until 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 City, Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, the strictly modern John Deere Headquarters in Moline, Illinois, and the CBS Headquarters building in New York City.[5]

In 1966, Roche and John Dinkeloo formed 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.

The firm of Roche & Dinkeloo has designed numerous corporate headquarters, office buildings, banks, museums, and art centers. Roche has served as a trustee of the American Academy in Rome, president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, member of the National Academy of Design, and member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.[6]


The Head Office for Bouygues SA Holding company received the “Haute Qualité Environnementale (HQE)” which is the highest certification for environmental quality in building design in France.
Headquarters for Santander Central Hispano located in Madrid, Spain.
New American Wing for Twentieth Century Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The continuous glass wall at Lucent Technologies in Nurnberg, Germany wraps around the complex to create a unified street facade.
Unlike conventional New York office buildings which isolate the occupants, the Ford Foundation Headquarters creates an environment of openness and fosters a sense of working family.
The DN Tower 21 in Tokyo, Japan.

Awards and Honors

Mr. Roche has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the following:

Honorary Degrees:

Further reading

Special magazine editions


  1. COTTER, HOLLAND (January 15, 2012). "The Met Reimagines the American Story". Art Review. New York Times. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  2. Goldberger, Paul (April 15, 1982). "Kevin Roche Wins PRITZKER PRIZE in Architecture". Times Article. New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  3. Langan, Sheila. "Kevin Roche Visionary Architect", "Irish America magazine", March 14, 2012; accessed March 21, 2012.
  4. "An Irish starchitect: the iconic buildings that have made Kevin Roche's reputation", The Irish Times, April 9, 2011.
  5. unknown, unknown (December 14, 1992). "Architecture Award to Kevin Roche". December 14, 1992. New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  6. Thomas E. Luebke, ed., Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, 2013): Appendix B, p. 553.
  7. GOLDBERGER, PAUL (November 29, 1987). "ARCHITECTURE VIEW; Kevin Roche Finishes a Trio And Changes His Tune". New York Times. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  8. unknown, unknown (September 30, 1989). "Kevin Roche Honored For Redesign of Zoo". September 30, 1989. New York Times. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  9. VOGEL, CAROL (January 5, 2012). "Advertise on Grand Galleries for National Treasures". Times Article. New York Times. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  10. Yudell, Leslie. "Leslie Yudell". Architectural Record. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
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