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Eero Saarinen

Style for the Job

Total Effect

on 20 December 2013

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Transcript of Eero Saarinen

Eero Saarinen
Born 1910, August 20, Kirkkonummi, Finland, Russian Empire

Died 1961, September 1 (aged 51) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S. a Finnish American

During post WWII decades of what has been called “the American Century,” Saarinen helped create the international image of the United States.
Gateway Arch

630-foot (192 m) high monument in St. Louis, in the U.S. state of Missouri.

Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a flattened catenary arch, it is the tallest man-made monument in the United States.
1910 - 1961
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Gateway Arch,
St. Louis Missouri
designed & built 1947 - 1965

Dulles International Airport
26 miles (42 km) west of downtown Washington, D.C.
designed & built 1958 - 1962

Dulles Airport Terminal

The first airport designed for Jets, literally defining the
'Jet Age'.

The massive reinforced concrete structure is supported by a row of hook-like columns spaced 40ft apart. The columns on the approach side are 65ft high while the columns on the airfield side are 40ft high.
TWA Flight Center, JFK New York
designed & built 1956 - 1962
TWA Flight Center
The terminal was one of the first with enclosed passenger jetways, closed circuit television, a central public address system, baggage carousels, electronic schedule board and baggage scales, and the satellite clustering of gates away from the main terminal.
Describing his intentions to simplify and clarify structure, he said:
"The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world. I wanted to clear up the slum of legs. I wanted to make the chair all one thing again."
Tulip Chair
designed 1955, 1956
The Tulip Armchair
, which resembles the flower but also a stemmed wineglass, is part of Saarinen's last furniture series.

This one-legged chair was meant to alleviate one of Saarinen's great concerns: clutter.
Yale Hockey Rink
The number of buildings Eero designed and collaborated on is impressive.

Saarinen created a visual vocabulary for college campuses such as...

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Concordia Lutheran Senior College
Vassar College
University of Chicago
Yale University
University of Pennsylvania
Yale Hockey Rink, New Haven, Connecticut
designed & built 1956 - 1958
Hvitträsk was designed by the firm of three architects: Herman Gesellius, Armos Lindgren, and Eero's father
Eliel Saarinen.

Eleil Saarinen, was a Finnish architect who became famous for his National Romantic style buildings in the early years of the 20th century.

The firm designed Hvitträsk to be a studio home for members of their Finnish architecture firm.

Here the families, friends and firm; lived, worked and played.
Hvitträsk Home & Studio
Lake Vitträsk, Kirkkonummi, Finland.
built in 1902

Eero was born in Finland
and grew up at the Hvitträsk house studio until he was 12 years old.

In 1925 Eliel begins designing the Cranbrook Education Community Campus, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and later becomes the president of the Cranbrook Academy of Art.
While in Finland Eero's mother Louise (Loja) Gesellius Saarinen, was a sculptor and collaborates with her husband on several of his projects.
He spends summers working at his fathers Architecture office

21 - 23
he studies at the Yale School of Architecture (completing a four year course in three years)

he returned to Cranbrook to work for his father and teach at the academy

Cranbrook Art Museum

George Gough Booth asked
Eero's father to design the Cranbrook campus, intended as an American equivalent to the Bauhaus.
Living in Finland Eero was home schooled

During his first term at school in Michigan he was bumped from 5th to 8th grade

He studies sculpture at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, France.

He continues sculpture studies at Cranbrook
Streamlining ornamentation and extravagance for simple lines and functional form, these Modernist architects were striving to create economical, optimistic buildings that broke from the past and helped to realize a new vision of the future.

Who / what Influenced Eero
During the up-and-coming of the International Style of the early and mid-twentieth century, Eliel and Eero Saarinen were influenced by Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school in Germany, and other innovative architects of the time.
TWA Flight Center Interior, JFK New York
designed & built 1956 - 1962
Charles Eames
enters Eero's life.
1936 Charles wins a fellowship to study architecture and design at Cranbrook Academy of Art and goes onto head the Cranbrook Academy's Experimental Design Department (1937 to 1940)
Eero and Charles become besties.
In 1938 Eero and Eames build a long lasting relationship while collaborating on an innovative exhibit at Cranbrook using a lightweight tensile system and development of moulded-plywood furniture designs, which won first prize in the Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition sponsored by MOMA, New York, in 1941
Charles Eames & Eero Saarinen
Florence Knoll (née Schust)
1936 Around the same time as Eames enters Eeros life so does Florence Knoll (née Schust) as a student studying under Eliel Saarinen at Cranbrook where they all build close friendships.
Florence Knoll and her dog Cartree
c. 1940
1943 Cranbrook homie Florence Knoll and Eero begin a long term collaboration in modern furniture design and manufacturing starting with the grasshoper chair introduced in 1946.
First wife, Lilan Swann
1937, begins attending Cranbook Acadamy of Art
studying sculpture.
Lilian Swann
c. 1945
Second wife, Aline Bernstein Louchheim,
an art critic at The New York Times

1953 Interviews Eero.
Aline Berstine Louchheim Saarinen
c. 1955
1939 Marries Eero.
They have two children, Eric and Susan.

1951 they divorce.
1954 Marries Eero.

They have a son, Eames, named after Saarinen's collaborator Charles Eames.
Worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
, the precursor of the CIA, during World War II. Saarinen created innovative 3-D maps, backlit panels for transparencies, bomb disassembly manuals, and the war room.
The Situation Room
Designed by Eero Sarrinen
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. The OSS was formed in order to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for the branches of the United States Armed Forces.
Eero is ambidextrous
He could mirror write - write backwards and forwards with both left and right hands at the same time.
Architecture, design, structure, materials and building technology
was constantly on Eero's mind. He was very hard working and notorious for working on multiple of projects at once. The projects Eero worked on covered a broad spectrum.
North Christian Church
Columbus, Indiana
built 1964
Housing for veterans
Private residences
Pre-fab construction
School campuses
Corporate buildings
Airport terminals
Urban planning
Eero received some bad feedback for not ever developing a definitive style.

Never directly committed to the International Style, Saarinen remained free in his conceptions.
Milwaukee War Memorial,
Lake Michigan Milwaukee, WI
built 1955
While many of his contemporaries were engaged in the development and promotion of identifiable personal styles, his only ‘signature’ was consistent inconsistency, or ‘unity in diversity‘ (Walter McQuade).
How Eero interpreted his Style
Eero regarded his clients as collaborators and included them in the process. The outcome was greatly effected by who he was working for and the overall context of the project and there fore outcomes were never the same.

He described his approach as "the style for the job"
"The only architecture which interests me is architecture as a fine art. That is what I want to pursue."
Water tower at General Motors Technical Center Warren, Michigan
the 330 acre campus was completed in 1955
includes 25 main buildings + numerous structures
1922, 12, won first place in a matchstick design contest. The competition was to tell a story illustrated with pictures made entirely of matchsticks, sponsored by the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

1926, 16, wins first prize in a national soap sculpting competition by sculpting a Rodinsque figure out of a bar of Ivory soap

1940, 30, With Charles Eames wins two first prizes for furniture design, Museum of Modern Art.
After Eero's death at the age 51, 1961, he became a
six time winner of The Twenty-five Year
Award. An architecture prize awarded by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to buildings and structures that have "stood the test of time for 25 to 35 years", and that "exemplify design of enduring significance."
Eero age 16 holding his award winning Rodinsque soap sculpture 1926

1971 Crow Island School, Winnetka, Illinois

1977 Christ Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

1985 General Motors Technical Center,Warren, Michigan

1988 Dulles International Airport Terminal, Chantilly, Virginia

1990 Gateway Arch, St. Louis

1993 Deere & Company Administrative Center, Moline, Illinois
Personal take
Eero's upbringing was within a very creative and collaborative environment.

His success stems from his comfort with collaboration and his greatness is a result of his relationship with design.

He was extremely hard working. It was explained that his firm was 24 hour operation.
Eero getting into his work
c. 1956
He was hard working not because he had to be but because he truly loved what he did.
Presentation by Paul Arevalo

Thanks for viewing
Eero Saarinen Wikipedia


Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future

Eero Saarinen On His Work
With statements by the architect, edited by Aline B. Saarinen
Achievements Include
Cranbrook Community Campus
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan,
designed and built 1925 - 1932
by Eleiel Saarinen
In America
the family worked together in various fields as artists, architects, designers and teachers.
Erro's mother, Louise (Loja) Gesellius Saarinen, is a sculptor and later begins a professional career as a textile artist. She collaborates with Eliel on several projects.

His Sister Eva, Lisa (Pipsan) Saarinen Swanson becomes an interior designer.

Eliel, Eero and, brother in law, Robert Swanson co-produce a series of buildings.

All family members are strong in design
and grow together maintaining creative and collaborative relationships.
Saarinen family moves to the United States
When Eero is 12 years of age his father gets a project that leads to the families migration to the US in 1923.
Saarinen House at Cranbrook
c. 1931
Eero shares the
same birthday as his father
Eliel, August 20th.

In 1961 Eero dies from an operation removing a
brain tumor

Eleven years later, in 1972, Eero's wife Aline dies from
the same thing
Eero planning the Ezra Stiles and Samuel F. B. Morse Colleges at Yale University
designed and built 1958 – 1962
Full transcript