Finnish Cultural Institute in New York
799 Broadway, Suite 527
New York, NY 10003
t: +1.212.674.5570 f: +1.212.674.5614


Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future results from the efforts of four institutions: the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, the Museum of Finnish Architecture, and the National Building Museum, with the support of the Yale University School of Architecture. When the project was first conceived, there had never been a retrospective of the life and work of Eero Saarinen, one of the most prolific and important architects of the 20th century. A meeting held in 2000 in New York City established the project's Finnish-American scope. The project's most important milestone, however, occurred in 2002 when Kevin Roche, Saarinen's colleague, donated the Eero Saarinen and Associates office archives to the Yale University Library. For the first time, dozens of scholars and students, from Finland and the United States were able to inspect these original drawings, letters, and other rare materials. Seminars devoted to Saarinen were held with Yale undergraduate and graduate students and previously unpublished and forgotten projects were discovered. A two-day symposium at the Yale School of Architecture in April 2005 offered the public its first encounter with this new research.

The collaborative nature of the project has fostered ties between the two countries that shaped Saarinen's life and work: Finland, where he was born in 1910 and spent his childhood under the guidance of a creative and artistic family, and the United States, to which he and his family emigrated in 1923 and where he was educated and maintained his professional office.

The launch of the exhibition at the Kunsthalle Helsinki in October 2006 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Museum of Finnish Architecture. The exhibition travels in Europe and the United States until 2010, the centennial of Saarinen's birth. The exhibition, its accompanying book, the exhibition brochure, the website, and the documentary flm serve to return Saarinen, more than four decades since his untimely death in 1961, to the center of architectural discourse.