Eero Saarinen

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Eero Saarinen
BirthplaceKirkkonummi, Finland
NationalityFinnish American

Saarinen, Eero


Born Aug. 20, 1910, in Kirkkonummi, Finland; died Sept. 1, 1961, in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA. American architect. Son of Eliel Saarinen.

Saarinen, who emigrated to the USA in 1923, graduated in architecture from Yale University in 1934. After his father’s death, he completed their joint design of the General Motors Research Center in Warren, Mich. (1945–55)—a complex reflecting the influence of Mies van der Rohe. Saarinen subsequently passed from rigid rationalism to a search for the symbolic, individualistic, and romantic expressiveness of architectural form. This transition is evident in the Harvard University chapel (1955) and the Yale University hockey rink (1958). Saarinen later turned to sculptural forms, as seen in the TWA terminal at Kennedy Airport in New York (1962). An organic combination of plastically rich architectural form and design distinguishes the Dulles Airport outside Washington (completed in 1962).

In the late 1950’s Saarinen designed a number of buildings in the official style of American neoclassicism (US Embassy in London, 1960). During the same period he designed structures marked by stylized pseudo-Gothic motifs (a dormitory complex at Yale University, 1962). Exaggerated monumentality characterizes the CBS skyscraper in New York (1964). Continually experimenting, Saarinen failed to develop his own consistent style. However, his search for symbolic imagery greatly influenced the development of US architecture after 1960.


Khan-Magomedov, S. O. “Ot ‘shkoly Misa’ k pozdnemu Le Korbiuz’e (Eero Saarinen).” In the collection Arkhitektura Zapada: Mastera i techeniia [book] 1. Moscow, 1972. Pages 115–34.
Temko, A. Eero Saarinen. New York, 1962.