Eero Saarinen (20 August 1910 – 1 september 1961)
Creator of some of the most dazzling architecture of the 20th century, such as the TWA Flight Center in New York and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (I will share a separate post on it), Eero Saarinen left behind an impressive legacy that also includes some of the most iconic furniture designs of the modern movement.
Saarinen’s father was Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, who brought his family to the U.S. In the 1930s, the younger Saarinen began taking courses in furniture design and sculpture in the Cranbrook Academy of Art. During his time there, he developed friendships with three of his fellow students who would profoundly impact his life and career: the designers Charles and Ray Eames, and Florence Knoll. In spite of Eero Saarinen’s relatively short career (he died unexpectedly at the age of 51), he left behind a legacy of stunningly innovative designs that are studied and revered the world over. Today, he is considered one of the masters of 20th Century Architecture.
The Deere & Co headquarters: a steel building.
Quotations from Eero Saarinen : (interview in Domus – 1965)
“Having decided to use steel we wanted to make a steel building that was really a steel building (most so-called steel buildings seem to me to be more glass buildings than steel buildings). We sought for an appropriate material — economical, maintenance free, bold in character, dark in color. We located a certain high tensile steel, which has a peculiar characteristic: if this steel is left unpainted, a rust coating forms which becomes a protective skin over the steel. This rust coating — which does not develop beyond a certain point — is a cinnamon brown color which makes a beautiful dark surface on the steel. We built a full-size mock-up section of the façade on the site to make sure the steel would act as we had anticipated. It has. I predict other architects will use it widely.”
About the Author:
Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.