SAARINEN, Eero

(1910-1961)
   Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-born American architect who first studied architecture with his father, Eliel Saarinen, is known for his curvilinear, organic constructions. One of the first 20th-century architects to question the stark aesthetic that characterized early modernism, he sought instead to imbue his structures with a more expressive quality. Raised around the Cran-brook Academy of Art in Michigan, where his father taught, Eero displayed an early interest in architecture, studied at Yale University, and then traveled around the world before returning to Michigan to teach at Cranbrook. He later established an architectural firm in New Haven, Connecticut.
   Eero Saarinen's early career was linked to that of his father. In 1942, Eliel Saarinen completed the first contemporary church designed in the United States, the First Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana. The modernist building set in motion a series of architectural commissions in this small town that established it as one of the premier locations for modernist architecture and public sculpture in the United States. Eero Saarinen's Irwin Union Bank was the second modernist structure in Columbus, completed in 1954. Here the architect sought to diminish the imposing, formal design of the traditional bank and instead to build a structure that was more open and welcoming. Accordingly, this bank, which is surrounded by trees, features large glass windows on the exterior and an open, well-lit interior. The town of Columbus today features over 70 important buildings constructed by numerous internationally known architects, including Gunnar Birkerts, Cesar Pelli, Robert Venturi, and I. M. Pei.
   The Trans World Airport Terminal, built at JFK Airport in New York (1956-1962), is Eero Saarinen's most famous work and demonstrates his desire to integrate the function of the building into its design. Here, the walls swoop upward like a bird in flight, and the huge roof, made of reinforced concrete, is shaped like two broad wings. The inside of the terminal features broad spaces that flow from one to another, providing an open interior where people can move quickly from ticket counters to gates. As flying was becoming a more accessible mode of travel, record numbers of people were beginning to fly. Thus the TWA Terminal, with its innovative design, records this period of excitement in air travel, the booming travel industry, and American idealism.
   Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch in St. Louis, known as the "Gateway to the West," is a famous tourist destination that has come to symbolize the city as well as to express American idealism in terms of modern American technical innovations. Designed just before his death, the arch was completed from 1963 to 1965 by Saarinen's partners Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo. At a cost of 15 million dollars, the arch is a feat of engineering. It stands 630 feet tall, is made of stainless steel wrapped over reinforced concrete, and is shaped like a parabolic arch of equilateral triangles. With its internal elevators for visitors to travel to the top, it has become one of the most famous tourist destinations in the Midwest.
   See also EXPRESSIONISM.

Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Saarinen, Eero — born Aug. 20, 1910, Kirkkonummi, Fin. died Sept. 1, 1961, Ann Arbor, Mich., U.S. Finnish born U.S. architect. His father, Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), was the foremost Finnish architect of his time; his major works include the Helsinki railway… …   Universalium

  • Saarinen, Eero — ► (1910 61) Arquitecto estadounidense. Su obra más representativa es el aeropuerto de Washington. Otras son la Universidad de Yale y el centro técnico de la General Motor (Warren). * * * (20 ago. 1910, Kirkkonummi, Finlandia–1 sep. 1961, Ann… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Saarinen,Eero — Saa·ri·nen (särʹə nən, nĕn ), Eero. 1910 1961. Finnish born American architect whose designs include the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan (1951 1955) and the Trans World Airlines terminal at Kennedy Airport in New York City… …   Universalium

  • Saarinen, Eero —  (1910–1961) Finnish born American architect, and son of Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), also a noted architect …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Saarinen — Saarinen, Eero …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • SAARINEN (E.) — SAARINEN EERO (1910 1961) Fils de l’architecte finlandais Eliel Saarinen (1873 1950), Eero Saarinen a influencé l’œuvre de son père et a contribué à faire de son architecture un travail novateur. Cela mérite d’être souligné. Le père (dont la gare …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Saarinen — (Eero) (1910 1961) architecte et designer américain d origine finlandaise …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Eero Saarinen — Infobox Architect caption=Eero Saarinen with Florence Knoll inspecting a prototype of the Tulip chair name=Eero Saarinen nationality=Finnish American birth date=August 20, 1910 birth place=Kirkkonummi, Finland death date=Death date and… …   Wikipedia

  • Eero Saarinen — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Saarinen. Eero Saarinen Présentation Naissance 20 août, 1910 Kirkkonummi, Finlande Décès 1 septembre 1961 (à 51 ans) Ann A …   Wikipédia en Français

  • SAARINEN, Gottlieb Eliel — (1873 1950)    See SAARINEN, Eero …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

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