Finnish Cultural Institute in New York
799 Broadway, Suite 527
New York, NY 10003
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Eero Saarinen demonstrated a deep understanding of architecture’s value in creating a company’s image, often using new building technologies to help brand forward thinking corporations. For his business clients, Saarinen and his office made the earliest architectural use of self-rusting Cor-ten steel and designed the first mirror glass curtain wall and the world’s thinnest exterior wall panel. Saarinen also pioneered, and ultimately mastered, the development of a new office typology: the corporate campus. Occupying pristine rural settings, these business complexes reinvented the traditional country estate and the American college campus in terms of modern corporate programs, similarly evoking power and authority. The 25-building, $100-million General Motors Technical Center in suburban Detroit, completed in 1956, was Saarinen’s first realized example of this new type. It earned him tremendous publicity, including the cover of Time magazine, and established the design and public relations strategies for future corporate commissions, from IBM to Bell Laboratories and John Deere and Company.