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Eliel Saarinen

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

13:00 - 31 October, 2018
The Challenges of Preserving a Small, Local - and Globally Famous - Design Legacy, The Exchange / Oyler Wu Collaborative. Image Courtesy of Oyler Wu Collaborative
The Exchange / Oyler Wu Collaborative. Image Courtesy of Oyler Wu Collaborative

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.

Architecture: the Unsung Hero of Your Favorite Film

07:00 - 8 October, 2018
Architecture: the Unsung Hero of Your Favorite Film, Columbus, IN.
Columbus, IN.

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

09:30 - 24 August, 2018
This Week in Architecture: Our Faith in Design, from McDonalds' Golden Arches to Churches in Kerala, © Stephanie Zoch
© Stephanie Zoch

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. 

Courtesy of Foster + Partners © Jeroen Musch, Mei Architects and Planners Courtesy of Ennead Architects © DBOX for Foster + Partners + 9

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

09:30 - 20 August, 2018
St Louis Gateway Arch. Image © Flickr user jeffnps licensed under CC BY 2.0
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.

© MWAA <a href='https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficheiro:FirstChristianChurch.jpg'>Photo by Greg Hume</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.pt'>CC BY-SA 2.5</a> © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/gabyu/305710396'>Ezra Stoller via Flikr user gabyu</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Helsinki_Railway_Station_20050604.jpg'>Revontuli</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> + 22

Futudesign Wins Competition to Transform Saarinen's Railway Station Into Hotel

06:00 - 26 January, 2018
Futudesign Wins Competition to Transform Saarinen's Railway Station Into Hotel, Courtesy of Futudesign
Courtesy of Futudesign

Finland based Futudesign has been announced as the winner of a competition which invited firms to repurpose part of the Helsinki Central Railway Station. The design, which will transform the station’s underutilized eastern wing into a hotel, both reinterprets and modernizes Eliel Saarinen's original architectural intent.

Second Floor Plan Third Floor Plan Fourth Floor Plan Fifth Floor Plan + 16

The Architect as Educator: Remembering Gunnar Birkerts

10:30 - 23 November, 2017

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.

Gunnar Birkerts in an undated photo. Image via The Republic Corning Fire Station, New York. Image© <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brikerts_Corning_Fire_Station.jpg”>Unknown Wikimedia Author</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/“>CC BY 3.0</a> The Latvian National Library (2014). © <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riga_Petrikirche_Blick_vom_Turm_zur_Nationalbibliothek.JPG”>Wikimedia user Zairon</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/“>CC BY 4.0</a>. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia User Zairon ederal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 1973, (now: Marquette Plaza), in its original configuration.. ImageVia <a href=“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Marquette_Plaza.jpg”>Wikimedia Commons / Historic American Buildings Survey</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en“>CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)</a> + 4

How Chicago’s Tribune Tower Competition Changed Architecture Forever

16:00 - 3 October, 2017
How Chicago’s Tribune Tower Competition Changed Architecture Forever, © Steve Hall
© Steve Hall

This article was originally published on the blog of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America. The 2017 Biennial, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.

The Tribune Tower has stood at the heart of Chicago’s cultural heritage for almost a hundred years. Like the spire of a secular cathedral, it still symbolizes the rise of the “city of big shoulders” and its defining role in the American Century. But the building is more than a Chicago icon. The story of its origin has proved to be one of the most enduringly influential narratives in 20th Century architecture, key to understanding the skylines of cities all over the world.

The “late entries” included fantastical designs by Helmut Jahn, Judith Di Maio, Arquitectonica, and Robert A.M. Stern. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial Blog (Consortia) Some of the more radical proposals for the Tribune Tower by Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer; Max Taut; Adolf Loos; and Bruno Taut, Walter Gunther, and Kurz Schutz. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial Blog (Consortia) For nearly a century, Chicago’s Tribune Tower has stood at the heart of the city’s cultural heritage. Image Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial Blog (Consortia) A reconstruction of Loos’ proposal (center) accompanies new towers by an international group of young architects. Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image © Steve Hall + 8

Monumental Minds: Illustrations of Scandinavia’s Design Legacy

14:00 - 16 September, 2017
Monumental Minds: Illustrations of Scandinavia’s Design Legacy, Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland
Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland

Not just meatballs and Vikings; Scandinavia has always been the epicentre of design across the world - just look at the growing impact of Bjarke Ingels and Ikea's future living lab SPACE10. To showcase their significant influence, Expedia has illustrated the works of four famous architects from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and how they shaped international architectural movements of the 20th and 21st centuries in a collection of posters called Monumental Minds.

EF Headquarters, Massachusetts. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland House of Sweden, Washington. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland St Paul's Church, Estonia. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, Saudi Arabia. Image Courtesy of Expedia Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland + 21

Spotlight: Eliel Saarinen

08:00 - 20 August, 2017
Spotlight: Eliel Saarinen, Helsinki Central Railway Station. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Helsinki_Railway_Station_20050604.jpg'>Wikimedia user Revontuli</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>
Helsinki Central Railway Station. Image © Wikimedia user Revontuli licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Though some may now know him only as the father of Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen (August 20, 1873 – July 1, 1950) was an accomplished and style-defining architect in his own right. His pioneering form of stripped down, vernacular Art Nouveau coincided with stirring Finnish nationalism and a corresponding appetite for a romantic national style and consciousness; his Helsinki Central Station became part of the Finnish identity along with Finnish language theaters and literature. Later moving to America, his city planning and Art Deco designs resonated through western cities in the first half of the 20th century.

Detail from Helsinki Central Station. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalbera/2771369126/'>Flickr user dalbera</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> The unbuilt plan for the Tribune Tower. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia (public domain) Finnish Pavillion at the 1900 World's Fair. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia (public domain) National Museum of Finland. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Helsinki_Kansallismuseo_2006.jpg'>Wikimedia user Alessio Damato</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> + 10

Exhibition: The Finnish Rowhouse – From Working-Class Housing to Middle-Class Dream

19:30 - 30 September, 2015
Exhibition: The Finnish Rowhouse – From Working-Class Housing to Middle-Class Dream, Rowhouse Korkalo, Rovaniemi, 1959. © Aimo A. Tuomi / Alvar Aalto Museum Collections
Rowhouse Korkalo, Rovaniemi, 1959. © Aimo A. Tuomi / Alvar Aalto Museum Collections

'The Finnish rowhouse – from working-class housing to middle-class dream' exhibition is showing gems of this lifestyle familiar to all Finns, with the hand of Alvar Aalto and his architect contemporaries powerfully in evidence.

Based on extensive research by Professor Riitta Nikula, the exhibition tells the intriguing story of the rowhouse, uncovering the eventful history of rowhouse living from the 1900s to the 1960s. The exhibition uses drawings, photographs and films to present this high-quality everyday architecture.

Like Father, Like Son: 4 Famous Architecture Dynasties

08:00 - 21 June, 2015
Like Father, Like Son: 4 Famous Architecture Dynasties, Gateway Arch / Eero Saarinen. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, NPS https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffnps/
Gateway Arch / Eero Saarinen. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, NPS https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffnps/

While Eliel and Eero Saarinen may be the most well known father-son architect duo, they are certainly not the only pair to have left their mark in the field. As far back as the 1700s, the Gabriel father and son dynasty (Jacques V and Ange-Jacques) constructed much of Versailles, and more recently both I.M. Pei and Lewis Davis have passed their legacy onto their sons. In honor of Father's Day, we look at four father-son architecture dynasties and their lasting influence on the profession, after the break.

Spotlight: Eliel & Eero Saarinen

01:00 - 20 August, 2014
Spotlight: Eliel & Eero Saarinen, © Exothermic
© Exothermic

Perhaps the most famous father-son duo in the architectural world, Eliel and Eero Saarinen share more than just a last name. The two designers both left profound influences upon the cities where they did their work, both were awarded AIA Gold Medals, and, rather uncannily, both share the very same date of birth. But, when it comes to their architectural stylings, that’s where the comparisons end. Find out more about both after the break.

Spotlight: Eliel & Eero Saarinen Spotlight: Eliel & Eero Saarinen Spotlight: Eliel & Eero Saarinen Spotlight: Eliel & Eero Saarinen + 7

Architecture City Guide: Columbus

13:00 - 1 June, 2011
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / sombraala. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / sombraala. Used under Creative Commons

This week our Architecture City Guide is headed to Columbus; Indiana that is. We have already made the trip to Columbus, Ohio. This lesser known Columbus only has a population of 44,000 people, but for what it lacks in size it makes up in architecture. Columbus, perhaps, has more notable modern architecture buildings per capita than any city in the United States. In fact, it was much harder narrowing the list down to 12 projects than finding enough for the city guide. With the buildings not on the list, it will be impossible to please everyone. Notably our list doesn’t even include Romaldo Giurgola’s Columbus East High School, Cesar Pelli’s Commons Centre and Mall, and SOM’s Republic Newspaper Building. Take a look at the 12 on our list and add your favorites in the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Columbus list and corresponding map after the break.

Architecture City Guide: Minneapolis

14:01 - 13 April, 2011
Courtesy of <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>Wikimedia</a> Commons Bobak Ha'Eri
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Bobak Ha'Eri

This week our Architecture City Guide is headed to the city stars fall on. With a few notable exceptions, one can hardly be called a starchitect if s/he hasn’t designed something in Minneapolis. Since 2005 the starchitects that have fallen on this “City of Lakes” include Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Mueron, César Pelli, Michael Graves, Steven Holl, and Frank Gehry. This is a surprising number for a city just north of 380,000 people. Few cities of this size could boast as much. What’s more our list of 12 is far from complete. There are many wonderful historic and contemporary buildings mixed in with the explosion of starchitecture. Please leave comments of buildings one should not miss when visiting Minneapolis.

Architecture City Guide: Minneapolis list and corresponding map after the break!