Finnish Cultural Institute in New York
799 Broadway, Suite 527
New York, NY 10003
t: +1.212.674.5570 f: +1.212.674.5614
info[at]eerosaarinen.net

BEGINNINGS IN COLLABORATION

Eero Saarinen was born in Finland in 1910 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1923. Eero’s career began in collaboration with his remarkably gifted family: his father, Eliel (1873– 1950), the architect of Helsinki’s main train station and many other prominent buildings; his mother, Louise, or “Loja” (1879– 1968), a textile designer and sculptor; and his sister, Eva-Lisa, or “Pipsan” (1905– 1979), a designer and interior decorator. Eliel’s design for the Cranbrook campus in suburban Detroit, which the entire family worked on, would remain an important touchstone throughout Eero’s career. It served as a model of artistic collaboration and the conviction that architecture must encompass the “total environment,” from landscapes to buildings to furnishings and decorative objects. Equally influential on Eero’s later efforts to enrich modern design were his sculpture classes in Paris (1929– 1930), his architectural education at Yale University (1931– 1934), and his subsequent travels in Europe, Egypt, and Mexico to see some of the great monuments of architectural history.