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INTO THIN AIR: THE MERGING OF ARCHITECTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, Union Carbide Corporation World Headquarters, 1976–82, Danbury, CT. Cafeteria interior.

IN 1976, THE PRESIDENT of Union Carbide attempted to reassure the company’s Manhattan employees about their imminent relocation to Danbury, Connecticut. In a human-relations spot, he described their two presumed concerns: “The first is, What will it be like to work in this new building? And the second is, What will it be like to live in the Danbury area?” Kevin Roche, who had been commissioned to design the company’s new headquarters, understood these twin considerations of work and life as one and the same. Corporate America’s favored architect, Roche wanted the offices of the world’s third-largest chemical company to feel like “your den at home.” As the traveling exhibition “Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment,” currently on view at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery in New Haven, makes clear, the Union Carbide Corporation World Headquarters was designed as an extension

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