Eero Saarinen: A Finnish Architect Who Changed the World
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish architect who is renowned for his influential works in architecture. Some of his notable architectural designs include the St. Louis Gateway Arch in Missouri, United States, and the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, United States. In this essay, we will take a look at Eero Saarinen’s early life and education, his work in architecture, and how he has influenced the world of architecture today.
2. Early Life and Educational Background
Eero Saarinen was born on August 20, 1910, in Kirkkonummi, Finland. His father, Eliel Saarinen, was also an architect who served as the head of the department of architecture at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and later at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United States. As a result, Eero grew up in an environment that exposed him to the world of architecture and art from a young age.
In 1929, Eero began his studies in architecture at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. However, he only spent one year at Yale before transferring to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France where he spent three years as a student. While at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Eero was exposed to the works of French architects such as Auguste Perret and Henri Labrouste which greatly influenced his own architectural style. In 1934, Eero returned to the United States and completed his studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
After graduation, Eero began working for his father’s architectural firm – Eliel Saarinen and Associates – where he worked on various projects such as churches and office buildings. In 1940, he designed the now-famous church known as “The First Christian Church” located in Columbus, Indiana which features a unique tapered spire that soars upwards towards the sky.
During World War II, Eero served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers where he designed military bases for the war effort. It was during this time that he met Charles Eames – another famous architect – with whom he would later collaborate on many projects. One of their most famous collaborations is the design of what is now known as the “Saarinen Table” which was originally created for Knoll Furniture Company in 1957. The table features a pedestal base which allows for more legroom and is considered to be one of the most iconic pieces of furniture designed in the 20th century.
In 1950, Eero designed one of his most famous works – Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business Administration building located in New York City, United States. The building features a unique “Y” shaped floor plan which allows for each student to have their own individual study space while also providing them with views of Central Park. The building was so influential that it sparked a new trend in business school design known as the “MBA tower” whereby each student had their own private office space instead of shared communal areas.
perhaps Eero’s most famous work is the St. Louis Gateway Arch which is located in Missouri, United States. The arch was designed to commemorate the westward expansion of the United States and stands at a height of 630 feet (192 meters). It is the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere and is considered to be one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in the United States.
Eero Saarinen’s work has had a profound influence on the world of architecture. His use of organic and fluid forms can be seen in many modernist buildings such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., United States which was designed by Gordon Bunshaft – another famous architect who worked for Eero’s father’s firm. Additionally, his work also inspired the postmodern architectural style known as “deconstructivism” which was characterized by irregular and fragmented forms. One of the most notable examples of this style is Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao located in Spain which features a series of twisted titanium-clad forms.
5. Later Life and Death
In 1955, Eero was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent surgery to remove it. However, the surgery left him with impaired vision in his left eye. Despite this, he continued to work on various projects until his death on September 1, 1961, at the age of 51.
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish architect who is renowned for his influential works in architecture. Some of his notable architectural designs include the St. Louis Gateway Arch in Missouri, United States, and the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, United States. In this essay, we have taken a look at Eero Saarinen’s early life and education, his work in architecture, and how he has influenced the world of architecture today.