Eero Saarinen – Greatest Architects / Best Architects In The World

Eero Saarinen, a luminary in the realm of architecture, left an indelible mark on the 20th century with his innovative designs and groundbreaking approach to modernism. This article delves into the life, influences, and architectural legacy of Eero Saarinen, showcasing his exceptional contributions to the world of design.

Early Life and Influences

Eero Saarinen, born on August 20, 1910, in Kirkkonummi, Grand Duchy of Finland, was destined for greatness. The son of renowned architect Eliel Saarinen, Eero’s early exposure to the world of design laid the foundation for his future brilliance. The family moved to the United States in 1923, where Eero would eventually emerge as a pioneering force in American architecture.

Educational Journey

Eero Saarinen’s educational journey was marked by a quest for knowledge and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of conventional design. He studied sculpture at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris before enrolling at the Yale School of Architecture in 1930. At Yale, Saarinen’s talent blossomed under the guidance of influential mentors, shaping his unique perspective on architecture.

Architectural Style

1. Futurism meets Functionality

Eero Saarinen’s architectural style seamlessly blended futurism with functionality, creating structures that were not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly practical. His designs often incorporated sweeping curves and organic forms, deviating from the rigid lines of traditional modernism.

2. The Gateway Arch – St. Louis, Missouri

One of Saarinen’s most iconic creations is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Completed in 1965, this stainless steel monument stands as a testament to his commitment to pushing the boundaries of design. The arch’s graceful curve symbolizes the westward expansion of the United States and remains a quintessential representation of Saarinen’s architectural prowess.

3. TWA Flight Center – John F. Kennedy International Airport

The TWA Flight Center, completed in 1962, stands as a masterpiece of mid-century modern design. The building’s fluid lines and futuristic aesthetics capture the spirit of air travel during the Jet Age. Although no longer serving its original purpose, the TWA Flight Center continues to captivate visitors with its timeless design.

4. Dulles International Airport – Main Terminal

Saarinen’s influence extended to the realm of airport design with the Main Terminal of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. Completed in 1962, the terminal’s innovative design, characterized by a curved roof and suspended mobiles, redefined the airport experience and set a new standard for modern air travel infrastructure.

5. MIT Chapel – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Reflecting Saarinen’s exploration of spiritual architecture, the MIT Chapel in Cambridge is a serene yet powerful space. Completed in 1955, the chapel’s simple yet profound design emphasizes the interplay of light and space, providing a contemplative environment for reflection and worship.

Legacy and Impact

Eero Saarinen’s untimely death in 1961 at the age of 51 left the architectural world mourning the loss of a visionary. However, his legacy endures through the numerous iconic structures that bear his imprint. The Saarinen influence can be seen in the work of architects who followed, with his innovative spirit continuing to shape the discourse around modernism.

Calls to Action

1. Explore Saarinen’s Works in Person

Architecture enthusiasts and students alike can deepen their appreciation for Eero Saarinen’s genius by visiting his creations. Plan a pilgrimage to landmarks such as the Gateway Arch, TWA Flight Center, and MIT Chapel to experience firsthand the brilliance of his designs.

2. Study Saarinen’s Design Philosophy

For aspiring architects, delving into Eero Saarinen’s design philosophy is an invaluable learning experience. Analyze his works, read his writings, and attend lectures or exhibitions dedicated to Saarinen to gain a comprehensive understanding of his approach to architecture.

3. Promote Architectural Preservation

Advocate for the preservation of Saarinen’s architectural legacy. Support initiatives that aim to protect and maintain his structures, ensuring that future generations can appreciate the enduring impact of his contributions to modernism.

Conclusion

Eero Saarinen’s life and work exemplify a relentless pursuit of innovation and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of architectural design. His legacy continues to inspire and challenge architects to think beyond convention, embracing a harmonious blend of form and function. By immersing oneself in the world of Saarinen’s creations, one can truly appreciate the profound impact he has had on the architectural landscape.

Author

Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.