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Saarinen, Eero

Saarinen, Eero (1910–61). Finnish-born American architect, the son of G. E. Saarinen. He studied in Paris, then Yale, and worked with Charles Eames at Kingswood, Cranbrook, MI, G. E. Saarinen's Academy. With Eames he designed moulded plywood chairs in the late 1930s and produced numerous other pieces of furniture until he became more closely involved with architecture after the 1939–45 war. He worked with his father at Ann Arbor, MI, from 1937, and from 1941 was in partnership with him before setting up his own practice as Eero Saarinen & Associates in 1950, having won the competition (1947–8) to design the Jefferson Memorial Park, St Louis, MO, with Kiley: however, it was Saarinen alone who designed the huge parabolic Gateway Arch, and Kiley was not involved in the design of the planting, although Saarinen intended that he should work on the project. At first, his architecture was in the International Modern style of Mies van der Rohe, notably his General Motors Technical Center, Warren, MI (1947–56), designed in collaboration with his father and others, but later, as with many American architects, he became concerned with the enriching of modern architecture that would still leave the buildings valid in terms of Functionalism. For the Kresge Auditorium Building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (1952–6), he created a roof based on a triangular segment of a sphere: the whole ensemble was criticized for straying from Modernist principles and not going far enough to create a paradigm of architectural freedom of expression. It was too tentative. Certainly the exemplars of Le Corbusier's chapel at Ronchamp (1950–5) had created a desire towards a greater expression of emotion in architecture, and Saarinen was in the vanguard of this tendency in the USA. Although his work was championed by Hitchcock and others, many critics found it in bad taste, exhibiting far too many shapes and too few ideas: it has to be admitted that many of his buildings soon dated.

For MIT he had experimented with massive brick walls at the circular chapel (1952–6), and at Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, IN, he also designed the chapel, this time with a pointed roof (1953–8). At the David S. Ingalls Ice Hockey Rink, Yale University, New Haven, CT (1953–9), he spanned the length of the building with a great central arch carrying the curved roof-structure. This was followed by the TWA Terminal Building at Kennedy International Airport, NYC (1956–62), with its huge sail-like vaulted roofs rising from dynamically shaped piers, expressive of wings and flight. The Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown, NY (1957–61), also exploited curves, to be used again at Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, VA, near Washington, DC (1958–63).

With the Ezra Stiles and Morse Colleges, Yale University (1958–62), the composition is stepped on plan and vertical section, and he used a fragmented, layered geometry for the treatment of the façades of the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London (1955–60—built in collaboration with Yorke, Rosenberg, & Mardall). He also collaborated with Kiley on several projects. His practice was continued by Roche and Dinkeloo after his death.

Bibliography

Gaidos (ed.) (1972);
Kuhner (1975);
Román (2002);
A. Saarinen (ed.) (1968);
Spade (1971);
Temko (1962);
Jane Turner (1996)

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"Saarinen, Eero." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Saarinen, Eero." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved May 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saarinen-eero

Saarinen, Eero

Eero Saarinen (ā´rō sä´rĬnĕn), 1910–61, Finnish-American architect, grad. Yale (B.A., 1934), became an American citizen in 1940; son of Eliel Saarinen. Saarinen's reputation was established with his design of the General Motors Technical Center, Warren, Mich. (1951–55). His architectural innovations are significant, particularly in domical construction. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he built (1955) the circular brick chapel as well as the auditorium, notable for its thin-shelled concrete dome. He followed the principles of suspension-bridge construction in the David S. Ingalls Hockey Rink at Yale (1958). Saarinen created soaring intersecting concrete vaults for the building many consider his masterpiece, the Trans World Airlines Terminal at Kennedy International Airport, New York City (completed 1962). His most famous commission, however, is probably the Gateway Arch (designed 1948, completed 1964) at St. Louis, a monumental 630-ft-high (192-m) curve of stainless steel. His sole skyscraper is the CBS building (1960–64), New York City, a reinforced concrete tower with an elegant skin of glass and dark granite. He also created many collegiate buildings, including those at Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind.; Vassar; and the Univ. of Chicago; and designed the American embassies at Oslo (1959) and London (1960). Saarinen died before the completion of two of his greatest projects, Dulles International Airport (1962) near Herndon, Va., and two polygonal college buildings at Yale.

See Eero Saarinen On His Work, ed. by A. Saarinen (rev. ed. 1968); E. Stoller, The TWA Terminal (1999); studies by B. Carter (2003), A Román (2003), and J. Merkel (2005).

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"Saarinen, Eero." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Saarinen, Eero

Saarinen, Eero (1910–61) US architect and designer, b. Finland. His work provides a link between expressionism and the International style. One of his most exciting buildings was the TWA terminal at New York's Kennedy Airport (1956–62). Other notable designs include the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan (1948–56), and the US Embassy, London (1955–61).

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"Saarinen, Eero." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Saarinen, Eero." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved May 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/saarinen-eero