Kevin Roche

In reading the recent obituaries of Kevin Roche, the Irish American architect who had worked for Maxwell Fry in London before going to study under Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology, I had forgotten that it was Roche who was hired by Thomas Hoving on becoming Director of the Metropolitsn Museum in 1966 as architect. The brief from Hoving was that he wanted, ‘a new attitude…Hospitality above all’. Roche greatly endeared himself to Hoving by describing the Museum as ‘a bleeding mess; it’s more an open storeroom than a series of open galleries’. And it was Roche who proposed creating the steps at the front of the Museum which most people assume have been there forever, but are actually a creation of the democratic 1960s.

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