Eliel Saarinen - Finland

Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen (20.08.1873 - 01.07.1950) was a Finnish architect and city planner, who was especially known for his Art Nouveau works. He is considered an important representative of Finnish architecture. Later his son Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) gained great fame as an architect.
Eliel Saarinen studied architecture and painting at the Technical University in Helsinki from
1893 to 1897. During this time he became acquainted with his later partners Herman Gesellius and Armas Lindgren. Together with these partners, he opened the joint architectural practice Gesellius- Lindgren and Saarinen. Saarinen worked for this architectural firm from 1896 to 1907. Two years earlier Lindgren withdrew from the office, when he became director of the School of Architecture of the Technical University. Eliel Saarinen's first job in the company was the design for the Finnish Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. Eliel Saarinen great impact with his style, the so-called Finnish National Romantic. This style culminates in the construction of the central railway station of Helsinki. Designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1904, the station was built between 1910 and 1914. From 1910-1915 Eliel Saarinen worked mainly on the extensive urban development project for Munksnäs-Haga, a city district of Helsinki. However, the project was never fully realized due to its high costs. In January 1911 he became a consultant for urban planning of the Estonian town of Reval and was also invited to consult the city of Budapest in its development. In the years 1917 and 1918 he worked on the urban planning of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Eliel Saarinen emigrated to the United States in 1923, only short after he was defeated in an architectural competition for the Tribune Tower in Chicago. His design was realized by the construction of the Gulf Building in Houston , although he only reached the 2nd rank. Eliel Saarinen first lived in Evanston, where he worked for the development of the waterfront of Chicago. In 1924 he worked as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan.
In 1925 he was asked to design the campus of Cranbrook Educational Community in the style of Bauhaus. Saarinen became a lecturer at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and was elected its head in 1932. His students included Ray Eames and Charles Eames, whose furniture designs were
decisively influenced by Saarinen. From the mid-1930s Eliel Saarinen also collaborated with his son Eero. An example of their joint work is the Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo.

1911 - 1912  Lahti Town Hall - Lahti