INSPIRATION: The Architecture and Design of Eero Saarinen

Eero Saarinen (August 20, 1910 – September 1, 1961) was a Finnish American architect and industrial designer of the 20th century famous for varying his style according to the demands of the project: simple, sweeping, arching structural curves or machine-like rationalism.

Saarinen first received critical recognition, while still working for his father, for a chair designed together with Charles Eames for the “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” competition in 1940, for which they received first prize. The “Tulip Chair“, like all other Saarinen chairs, was taken into production by the Knoll furniture company, founded by Hans Knoll, who married Saarinen family friend Florence (Schust) Knoll.

Eero Saarinen and Associates was Saarinen’s architectural firm; he was the principal partner from 1950 until his death in 1961.  Under Saarinen, the firm carried out many of its most important works, including the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch) in St. Louis, Missouri, the TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and the main terminal of Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C..

Source: Wikipedia

Womb chair (1948)

Tulip chair (1955)

Pedestal table, 1956

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis (1965)

Washington Dulles International Airport (1962)

TWA Flight Center (1962) -as seen in Catch Me If You Can

Saarinen is one of my favourite architects. Who’s your favourite architect? What’s your favourite Saarinen design?

Alison Hickey

Posted by Alison Hickey

Alison Hickey is a set designer based in Toronto. Her credits include 'Schitt's Creek', 'The Good Witch', 'Remedy', and 'Spun Out'.

  1. I love Saarinen.
    His design sense is impecable – his buildings, his industrial design – they are all beautiful. I would LOVE a womb chair – after the Harry Bertoia Diamond Lounge chair, the womb chair is my ‘designer chair to acquire’.

    I don’t have a favourite architect. It’s too difficult – there are too many amazingly talented people out there.
    – agata.


  2. I have great respect for Saarinen’s work. As an [almost] architect myself (dreaming of getting into art department / art direction / production design), I agree it’s hard to select a favorite architect just as you have trouble picking your fave designed movies, but here are a few more of mine:
    Neutra & Schindler (my faves for form and site response)
    Steven Holl (for what he does with light)
    Peter Zumthor (for his use of materials and thoughtful experience of the space).

    Love your blog! It’s informative and inspirational!


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