Design Legend: Eero Saarinen

Eero Saarinen was born in Kirkkonummi, Finland in 1910. He studied in Paris and at Yale University, after which he joined his father’s practice. Eero initially pursued sculpture as his art of choice. After a year in art school, he decided to become an architect instead. Much of his work shows a relation to sculpture. Saarinen developed a remarkable range which depended on color, form and materials. Saarinen showed a marked dependence on innovative structures and sculptural forms, but not at the cost of pragmatic considerations. He easily moved back and forth between the International Style and Expressionism, utilizing a vocabulary of curves and cantilevered forms.

“I believe very strongly that the whole field of design is all one thing. Therefore my interest in furniture”
– Eero Saarinen

Furniture Characteristics

  • Use of Curves and Cantilevers.
  • Innovative Structural and Sculptural Forms.
  • Wide Range of Colors and Materials
  • Expressionism

Eero Saarinen’s work is marked by the use of curved lines. His original work shown here is a series of curvilinear forms. The adaptation employs similar construction with the omission of curved arms protruding from the back of the chair. The adaptation’s most obvious influence from Saarinen’s work can be seen when looking at the lower from portion of the seat.

The Tulip dining table below was designed By Saarinen in the 1940s and is still very popular today. Adaptations are available just about everywhere. This one is from IKEA.

Saarinen’s most famous work is probably the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. The Arch was built as a monument to western expansion. After 30 years of discussion and design planning, the Arch opened to the public on July 24, 1967. I have been to St. Louis a few times and the Arch is always my favorite place to visit. I have taken a few great photos (I like to think of myself as a photographer) of the arch that I actually have up in my condo. Here are a few of my favorites:

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One thought on “Design Legend: Eero Saarinen

  1. Pingback: Design Legend: Arthur Mackmurdo |

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