Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) was a Finnish-American architect and designer whose neo-futuristic designs earned him a place among the most significant names of modern American architecture. Saarinen became famous in 1940 when he and Charles Eames won the design competition Organic Design in Home Furnishings arranged by MoMA New York. As a designer, his best-known pieces include the Womb chair and the Tulip furniture, both designed for Knoll, and as an architect, he created significant American landmarks including the Dulles International Airport in Washington DC, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the TWA Flight Center in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
A child of the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen and textile artist Loja Saarinen, Eero Saarinen migrated from Finland to Michigan’s Bloomfield Hills with his family at the age of 13. Saarinen studied sculpture in Paris, architecture at Yale University and design at Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he became friends with Charles Eames and Florence Knoll. Eero and his father Eliel both worked as teachers at Cranbook, and together with Robert Swansen, they established the architectural office Saarinen, Swansen and Associates. In 1950, Saarinen founded his own office in Bloomfield Hills where he worked until his death in 1961.