- Eliel Saarinen
Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen (
August 20, 1873, Rantasalmi, Finland– July 1, 1950, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United States) was a Finnish architect who became famous for his art nouveaubuildings in the early years of the 20th century.
Saarinen was educated in Helsinki at the
Helsinki University of Technology. From 1896 to 1905 he worked as a partner with Herman Geselliusand Armas Lindgrenat the firm Gesellius, Lindgren, and Saarinen. His first major work with the firm, the Finnish pavilion at the World Fairof 1900, exhibited an extraordinary convergence of stylistic influences: Finnish wooden architecture, the British Gothic Revival, and the Jugendstil. Saarinen's early manner was later christened the Finnish National Romanticism and culminated in the Helsinki Central railway station(designed 1904, constructed 1910-14). From 1910–15 he worked on the extensive city-planning project of Munksnäs-Haga and later published a book on the subject. In January 1911 he became a consultant in city planning for Reval, Estoniaand was invited to Budapestto advise in city development. In 1912, a brochure written by Saarinen about the planning problems of Budapestwas published. In April 1913 he received the first place award in an international competition for his plan of Reval. During 1917-18 Saarinen worked on the city-plan for greater Helsinki. He also designed the Finnish markkabanknotes introduced in 1922.
March 6, 1904Saarinen married Louise (Loja) Gesellius, a sculptor in Helsinki, and the younger sister of Herman Gesellius. They had a daughter Eva-Lisa (Pipsan) on March 31, 1905and a son Eero on August 20, 1910.Eliel Saarinen moved to the United Statesin 1923 after his noted competition entry for the Tribune Towerin Chicago, Illinois. Although Saarinen's entry won second place and was not built in Chicago, his design was fully realized in the 1929 Gulf Building in Houston, Texas. Saarinen first settled in Evanston, Illinois, where he worked on his scheme for the development of the Chicagolake front. In 1924 he became a visiting professor at the University of Michigan.
George Gough Boothasked him to design the campus of Cranbrook Educational Community, intended as an American equivalent to the Bauhaus. Saarinen taught there and became president of the Cranbrook Academy of Artin 1932. Among his student-collaborators were Ray Eames(then Ray Kaiser) and Charles Eames; Saarinen influenced their subsequent furniture design.
He became a professor in the
University of Michigan's Architecture Department; today a professorship at Michigan's A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is named for him, and the College holds an annual lecture series in his honor.
His son, Eero (1910–1961), became one of the most important American architects of the mid-20th century, as one of the leaders of the International style. Saarinen's student
Edmund N. Baconachieved national prominence as Executive Director of the PhiladelphiaCity Planning Commission from 1949 to 1970.
* Finnish Pavilion at the
Exposition Universelle (1900), Paris
Hvitträsk, Eliel Saarinen's home in Kirkkonummi1902
* Clubhouse of Luther factory,
Helsinki Central railway station1905–1914
National Museum of Finlandin Helsinki1902–1904
* [http://www3.lahti.fi/doc/kaupungintalo Lahti Town Hall] ,
* Mutual Reserve Association Building,
Vyborg railway station(today in Russia) 1904–1913 "(destroyed 1941)"
* [http://www.teelistekirikud.ekn.ee/kirikone.asp?one=134&maakone=37&?=0001 Saint Paul's Church] ,
* First Christian Church, Columbus,
Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, New York; designed in collaboration with his son Eero Saarinen
* Original Wing of
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa1945–1948
Cranbrook Educational Community, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis, Minnesota1949
* [http://www.fentoncommunitycenter.org/index2.asp The Fenton Community Center] ,
References and further reading
*A&E with Richard Guy Wilson, Ph.D.,(2000). America's Castles: Newspaper Moguls, Pittock Mansion, Cranbrook House & Gardens, The American Swedish Institute. "A&E Television Network".
*Cite book | author=Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher | title= AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture| year=2002 | publisher= Wayne State University Press | id=ISBN 0-8143-3120-3
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.