Design: Creating the Unexpected

Kevin Roche walks off with architecture's biggest prize

One of Architect Kevin Roche's most delightful buildings does not look like a building at all. It is California's Oakland Museum, which is tucked under a lush terraced garden. Roche's United Nations Plaza Hotel and office tower in Manhattan, on the other hand, is an icy glass sculpture of almost overbearing assertiveness. His Power Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Michigan, with its innovative stage, codesigned by the late Jo Mielziner, seems as enchanting as the Petit Trianon in Versailles. His 23-story Knights...

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