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Eero Saarinen

Born: 20-Aug-1910
Birthplace: Kirkkonummi, Finland
Died: 1-Sep-1961
Location of death: Ann Arbor, MI
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery, Troy, MI

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Architect

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Designed Gateway Arch in St. Louis

Initially intending to become a sculptor, Eero Saarinen attended art school for a year before deciding to become an architect, and he often said that he thought of designing buildings and environments as "fine art". His work was eclectic, and he was criticized in some circles for "inventing a new style for every job", but Saarinen is known for his innovative use of materials and technology. He is generally grouped within Modernist architecture, and is probably best known for designing the Gateway Arch in St Louis, symbolizing the city's motto as "Gateway to the West". His other buildings range stylistically from the TWA Flight Center at Kennedy Airport to GM's Technical Center in Warren, Michigan to his only skyscraper, the CBS Building in New York City.

Saarinen also designed two iconic pieces of furniture which are still manufactured and marketed the Womb chair, so named for its body-holding comfort, and the Tulip chair and matching table, with a distinctive matching molded pedestal design. The Tulip look would be especially familiar to fans of Star Trek, where its futuristic form became integral to the set design.

His father was noted architect Eliel Saarinen, and the two men worked together for many years. His first wife was artist Lilian Swann Saarinen (1913-1995), and his second wife was New York Times art critic Aline Bernstein Loucheim (1914-1972), who later became the first woman to work as a foreign bureau chief for NBC News. His son is cinematographer Eric Saarinen, whose films include Albert Brooks' Modern Romance and Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes.

Father: Eliel Saarinen (architect, b. 1873, d. 1950)
Mother: Minna Carolina Louise Gesellius (sculptor, "Loja", m. 1904)
Sister: Pipsan ("Eva-Lisa", b. 31-Mar-1905)
Wife: Lilian Swann Saarinen (sculptor, b. 1913, m. 1939, div. 1953, d. 1995, two children)
Son: Eric Saarinen (cinematographer, b. 1942)
Daughter: Susan Saarinen (architect, b. 1945)
Wife: Aline Bernstein Loucheim Saarinen (art critic, b. 25-Mar-1914, m. 1953, d. 1972)
Son: Eames Saarinen (b. 1953)

    University: Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris
    University: BFA Architecture, Yale University (1934)
    University: Cranbrook Academy of Art (1936-50)

    Finnish Ancestry
    Naturalized US Citizen 1940

Author of books:
Eero Saarinen on His Work (1962, architecture; with Aline B. Saarinen)

Selected edifices:
General Motors Technical Center (1955, Warren, MI )
Hockey Rink, Yale University (1959, New Haven, CT )
US Embassy, Oslo (1959, Oslo, Norway )
US Embassy, London (1961, London, England )
IBM Watson Research Center (1961, Yorktown, NY )
Dulles Airport (1962, Chantilly, VA )
TWA Terminal, Kennedy Airport (1962, New York City )
John Deere and Company Headquarters (1963, Moline, IL )
CBS Building (1964, New York City )
Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center (1965, New York City )
Gateway Arch (1967, St. Louis, MO)


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