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Eero Saarinen: The Latest Architecture and News

Abandoned Airport near Athens, Greece, Set to be Transformed into Europe’s Largest Coastal Park

The Athens International Airport was decommissioned in 2001, leading to two decades of work for the local government to establish funding and a governance mechanism to transform the 600 acres of unused space into Europe’s largest coastal park. The site has a layered history, from prehistoric settlements to the construction of the airport in the 20th century and the site being used for as an Olympic venue in 2004. Architecture office Sasaki is leading the design to transform the site again and create the Ellinikon Metropolitan Park, a restorative landscape and climate-positive design that will serve as a park, playground, and cultural center for the city of Athens. Developers are planning to break ground early next year.

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When Architectural History Meets Personal History

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Writer Eva Hagberg and I have known each other for a long time. Way back, in a year I can’t remember, I assigned her one of her first magazine assignments. Literally, dozens of other assignments followed. So it was with some anticipation, and a bit of surprise, that I received her new book When Eero Met His Match: Aline Louchheim Saarinen and the Making of an Architect (Princeton University Press), an intriguing hybrid text, one-part Aline and Eero biography, one part memoir of Hagberg’s experiences as a design writer and publicist. (I am briefly mentioned in the book.) The book’s main argument is that Aline Saarinen largely invented the role of the architectural publicist. Recently I traveled out to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to talk to a very pregnant Eva about the impetus for her new book, its dual structure, and the journalistic ethics of Aline Saarinen.

Timeless Design Icons: How to Style your Home Sustainably

Sustainability is on everyone's lips these days – but mostly with a view to the future and the question of how it is possible to use fewer resources, produce more sustainably and reduce waste. However, sustainability can also be lived with a view to the past or the present – namely with a domestic environment that consists of durable furniture designs that outlast trends and never go out of fashion. In the third part of our series on design icons, we put Philippe Starck, Eero Saarinen, Achille Castiglioni, Patricia Urquiola and Max Bill in the spotlight with their evergreen furniture icons, which can be found on architonic.com.

Materialising a Vision: Structural Engineering and Architecture

Recent years have seen an increased acknowledgement of the collective endeavour that is architecture and a better valuing of the different professions that participate in the design process. Within every extraordinary building, structural engineering plays an essential role in delivering the architectural vision. The article highlights the past and present contributions of engineering to the built environment, personalities that have stood in the shadow of architects delivering their design intent, and the collaboration between engineers and architects today.

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The Challenges of Preserving a Small, Local - and Globally Famous - Design Legacy

On its outskirts, you'd be forgiven for assuming that Columbus, Indiana is a suburban American town like any other. But travel downtown and you're suddenly greeted with an unexpected variety of modern architecture. The small midwestern city has for the past half-century been a kind of laboratory for contemporary architecture, attracting designers as diverse as Kevin Roche and IM Pei. Children attend school in a building designed by Richard Meier, congregants attend services in a church designed by Eliel Saarinen.

AD Classics: TWA Flight Center / Eero Saarinen

This article was originally published on June 16, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

Built in the early days of airline travel, the TWA Terminal is a concrete symbol of the rapid technological transformations which were fueled by the outset of the Second World War. Eero Saarinen sought to capture the sensation of flight in all aspects of the building, from a fluid and open interior, to the wing-like concrete shell of the roof. At TWA’s behest, Saarinen designed more than a functional terminal; he designed a monument to the airline and to aviation itself.

This AD Classic features a series of exclusive images by Cameron Blaylock, photographed in May 2016. Blaylock used a Contax camera and Zeiss lenses with Rollei black and white film to reflect camera technology of the 1960s.

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Architecture: the Unsung Hero of Your Favorite Film

How does the built environment--whether fictitious or entirely founded in reality--impact how we experience and process film? From lesser-known indies to blockbuster movies, the ways in which architecture and the built environment inform everything from scene and setting, to dialogue and character development has far-reaching effects on the audience’s cinematic experience. Below, a roundup of everything from recent releases to classic cinephile favorites uncovers the myriad ways in which film utilizes architecture as a means of achieving a more authentic and all-encompassing form of storytelling.

This Week in Architecture: Our Faith in Design, from McDonalds' Golden Arches to Churches in Kerala

As August draws to a close and our holidays - be they from work or school - already start to feel like distant memories, perhaps it's a good moment to reflect on our faith in what we do. Sometimes design affords us the ability to oversee massive and exciting change. Sometimes projects don't work out, despite our best efforts. And sometimes, design isn't as capable of making change as we believe it to be. This week's stories touched on our faith in design in a range of ways, from the literal (such as the bright churches of Kerala) to the more abstract (how much good taste in fast food design actually equates to good tastes.) Read on for this week's review. 

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Eliel and Eero Saarinen: The Sweeping Influence of Architecture's Greatest Father-Son Duo

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St Louis Gateway Arch. Image © Flickr user jeffnps licensed under CC BY 2.0

It is rare for a father and son to share the same birthday. Even rarer is it for such a duo to work in the same profession; rarer still for them both to achieve international success in their respective careers. This, however, is the story of Eliel and Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-American architects whose combined portfolio tells of the development of modernist architectural thought in the United States. From Eliel’s Art Nouveau-inspired Finnish buildings and modernist urban planning to Eero’s International Style offices and neo-futurist structures, the father-son duo produced a matchless body of work culminating in two individual AIA Gold Medals.

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How Surrealism Has Shaped Contemporary Architecture

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1974 installation of Mae West’s Face which May be Used as a Surrealist Apartment by Salvador Dali. Image © Flickr user Torrenega licensed under CC BY 2.0

In 1924 writer André Breton penned the Surrealist Manifesto, which called to destabilize the divides between dreams and reality, between objectivity and subjectivity. For many architects who had been—and continue to be—interested in the fundamental role of the built environment, Breton’s surrealist thinking provided a rich resource to examine the role architecture plays in forming reality. Since then, from Salvador Dali and Frederick Kiesler to Frank Gehry, Surrealism has profoundly shaped architecture in the 20th century.

Hotel Transformation of Saarinen's TWA Terminal Tops Out

Construction on the transformation of Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Flight Center into the new TWA Hotel has hit major milestone, as the project has now topped out.

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The Architect as Educator: Remembering Gunnar Birkerts

Gunnar Birkerts, Latvian-born architect and educator, passed away on August 15, 2017, at the age of 92. A passionate advocate of a creative process he called "organic synthesis," he leaves behind dozens of built works over three continents and influenced hundreds of architectural students and colleagues through his inquiry-based process and dynamic interactions. Eric Hill and John Gallagher, in their AIA Guide to Detroit, said of Birkerts’ architecture:

Each of his works seems to be approached as an opportunity to explore the essence of an architectural problem, resulting in a statement that often exceeds the immediate project.

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Architectural Adventures: Detroit—Motor City’s Architectural Revival

For most of the 20th century, Detroit was our nation’s economic dynamo. This heritage is reflected in the treasure trove of outstanding historic homes, buildings, and factories that still define the cityscape. While Detroit has struggled into the 21st century, its role as a center for architectural innovation is undiminished. With stunning early 20th-century mansions, grand Art Deco skyscrapers, and surprising mid-century masterpieces, the Motor City has more to offer than most realize. Explore the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Lafayette Park, Eastern Market, private homes, and special projects by local preservation organizations. Learn about how Detroit is rebounding while experiencing the innovative and seminal works of great architects like Eliel Saarinen, Daniel Burnham, Cass Gilbert, John Burgee, Albert Kahn, Minoru Yamasaki, and Mies van der Rohe along the way.

New TWA Lounge Opens as Construction Moves Forward on Hotel Transformation

A new space has been given a retro makeover while a historic one is racing towards modernization as work continues on the transformation of Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Terminal into a luxury hotel and event space.

Just completed is the TWA Lounge, a satellite space for the hotel located on the 86th floor of One World Trade Center. Part gallery, part mock-up, the Lounge space recreates the look and feel of the original terminal down to the smallest detail.

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Spotlight: Eero Saarinen

Son of pioneering Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen (August 20, 1910 – September 1, 1961) was not only born on the same day, but carried his father's later rational Art Deco into a neofuturist internationalism, regularly using sweeping curves and abundant glass. Saarinen's simple design motifs allowed him to be incredibly adaptable, turning his talent to furniture design with Charles Eames and producing radically different buildings for different clients. Despite his short career as a result of his young death, Saarinen gained incredible success and plaudits, winning some of the most sought-after commissions of the mid-twentieth century.

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