Eliel Saarinen

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 nouveau buildings 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 Gesellius and Armas Lindgren at the firm Gesellius, Lindgren, and Saarinen. His first major work with the firm, the Finnish pavilion at the World Fair of 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, Estonia and was invited to Budapest to advise in city development. In 1912, a brochure written by Saarinen about the planning problems of Budapest was 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 markka banknotes introduced in 1922.

On March 6, 1904 Saarinen 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, 1905 and a son Eero on August 20, 1910.Eliel Saarinen moved to the United States in 1923 after his noted competition entry for the Tribune Tower in 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 Chicago lake front. In 1924 he became a visiting professor at the University of Michigan.

In 1925 George Gough Booth asked 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 Art in 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. Bacon achieved national prominence as Executive Director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission from 1949 to 1970.


* Finnish Pavilion at the Exposition Universelle (1900), Paris
* Hvitträsk, Eliel Saarinen's home in Kirkkonummi 1902
* Clubhouse of Luther factory, Tallinn, Estonia 1905
* Helsinki Central railway station 1905–1914
* National Museum of Finland in Helsinki 1902–1904
* [http://www3.lahti.fi/doc/kaupungintalo Lahti Town Hall] , Lahti, Finland 1911
* Mutual Reserve Association Building, Tallinn, Estonia 1912
* 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] , Tartu, Estonia 1917
* First Christian Church, Columbus, Indiana 1942
* Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, New York; designed in collaboration with his son Eero Saarinen
* Original Wing of Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa 1945–1948
* Cranbrook Educational Community, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
* Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1949
* [http://www.fentoncommunitycenter.org/index2.asp The Fenton Community Center] , Fenton, Michigan

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

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eliel Saarinen — zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen (* 20. August 1873 in Rantasalmi, Finnland; † 1. Juli 1950 in Bloomfield Hills) war ein finnischer Architekt und Stadtplaner, der vor allem durch seine Jugendstilwerke bekannt wurde. Er ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Eliel Saarinen — Hvitträsk en Kirkkonummi, Finlandia (1902) Nombre de nacimiento Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Eliel Saarinen — au début du XXe siècle. Hv …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eliel Saarinen — noun Finnish architect and city planner who moved to the United States in 1923; father of Eero Saarinen (1873 1950) • Syn: ↑Saarinen • Instance Hypernyms: ↑architect, ↑designer …   Useful english dictionary

  • SAARINEN (E.) — SAARINEN EERO (1910 1961) Fils de l’architecte finlandais Eliel Saarinen (1873 1950), Eero Saarinen a influencé l’œuvre de son père et a contribué à faire de son architecture un travail novateur. Cela mérite d’être souligné. Le père (dont la gare …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Saarinen — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Aino Kaisa Saarinen (* 1979), finnische Skilangläuferin Eero Saarinen (1910–1961), finnisch amerikanischer Architekt Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), finnischer Architekt Esa Saarinen, finnischer Philosoph… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Eliel — is a Hebrew name. It can be translated to English as My God is God. *The name is formed from two different Hebrew terms for God. Eli, meaning my God and El God . Therefore the commonly understood meaning of the name is my God God or my God is God …   Wikipedia

  • Saarinen, Eero — born Aug. 20, 1910, Kirkkonummi, Fin. died Sept. 1, 1961, Ann Arbor, Mich., U.S. Finnish born U.S. architect. His father, Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), was the foremost Finnish architect of his time; his major works include the Helsinki railway… …   Universalium

  • SAARINEN, Eero — (1910 1961)    Eero Saarinen, the Finnish born American architect who first studied architecture with his father, Eliel Saarinen, is known for his curvilinear, organic constructions. One of the first 20th century architects to question the stark… …   Historical Dictionary of Architecture

  • Saarinen — The name Saarinen may refer to:*Eliel Saarinen, Finnish architect *Eero Saarinen, son of Eliel, also an architect and furniture designer *Esa Saarinen, philosopher *Jarno Saarinen, motorcycle racer *Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Finnish skier *Veli… …   Wikipedia

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