Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment

Overview

Pritzker Prize-winner Kevin Roche (b. 1922) is one of the most critically acclaimed architects of the postwar era, distinguished for the pioneering urban structures he designed in the 1960s and 1970s, including the Oakland Museum of California and the Ford Foundation Headquarters in New York. In a career that has spanned more than half a century, Roche has pioneered new territories in design methodology, building technology, and environmentalism.

A student of Mies van der Rohe?s...

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Overview

Pritzker Prize-winner Kevin Roche (b. 1922) is one of the most critically acclaimed architects of the postwar era, distinguished for the pioneering urban structures he designed in the 1960s and 1970s, including the Oakland Museum of California and the Ford Foundation Headquarters in New York. In a career that has spanned more than half a century, Roche has pioneered new territories in design methodology, building technology, and environmentalism.

A student of Mies van der Rohe’s and a principal design associate of Eero Saarinen’s in the 1950s, Roche is the leading member of the third generation of modern architects. One of his most important contributions has been to perceive architecture as part of the larger man-made environment, which entailed understanding transportation, infrastructure, and landscape as architectural problems; considering public spaces, including gardens, as integral to architecture; and designing some of the earliest energy-efficient buildings. This book offers a comprehensive look at the extraordinary range of Roche’s built work, from his corporate commissions for more than thirty-eight headquarters for such companies as Aetna, Conoco, General Foods, John Deere, Merck, and Union Carbide, to his master plans of major universities and museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Central Park Zoo. The book extends to Roche's most recent projects, including recently completed headquarters for Banco Santander in Spain, Bouygues in Paris, and a national convention center in Dublin.

Drawing on previously inaccessible archival materials and unpublished interviews to present the full range of Roche’s career and to place his innovative work within the history of modern architecture, this book shows why Roche’s insistence that architecture is a part of a larger context, both man-made and natural, is more timely than ever.

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Editorial Reviews

Places Journal

“Eeva Liisa Pelkonen offers a comprehensive overview of Kevin Roche''s career and positions his work within the context of late 20th-century architecture… which will surely stand as the definitive text on Roche for years.”—Belmont Freeman, Places Journal

— Belmont Freeman

Places Journal - Belmont Freeman
“Eeva Liisa Pelkonen offers a comprehensive overview of Kevin Roche's career and positions his work within the context of late 20th-century architecture… which will surely stand as the definitive text on Roche for years.”—Belmont Freeman, Places Journal
American Association of University Professors - Award in Trade Illustrated category of the Book
Won an award in the trade illustrated category in the 2012 AAUP Book, Jacket, & Journal Show
Library Journal
The work of notable American architect Kevin Roche is characterized by designs that balance built forms with the natural environment. His projects span half a century, beginning with such early works as the Oakland Museum of Art (1966), the Ford Foundation Headquarters in New York City (1967), and the New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum (1972), now demolished, and extending to the present moment. Pelkonen (architecture, Yale) ties together this retrospective with three essays on Roche's many museum projects, his workplace designs, and the theme of environmentalism in his work. While the heavily footnoted text provides context and refreshing relevance for Roche's contributions to architecture, true value is added by the portfolio photographs and drawings, which fully illustrate over 100 of the architect's projects. An interview with the subject is included. VERDICT A valuable addition to academic collections, as no other comprehensive work devoted to this important Pritzker Prize-winning architect is still in print.—Nancy Turner, Syracuse Univ. Lib., NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300152234
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2011
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen is associate professor at the Yale School of Architecture. She is author of Alvar Aalto: Architecture, Modernity, and Geopolitics (Yale), and co-editor of Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future (Yale).

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