Family Matters: Eero Saarinen and His Father Built Some Fab Homes Together


Monday, January 12, 2015, by Jenny Xie
saa0.jpgPhoto via Princeton Architectural Press via Co.Design

Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen and his son Eero Saarinen are commonly known for their large-scale projects—Eliel, for his Art Nouveau-inspired works like the seminal Helsinki railway station, and Eero, for his modernist mastery that gave rise to landmarks like the St. Louis arch, the TWA terminal of the JFK International Airport, and the U.S. Embassy in London. Yet as thoroughly highlighted in a new book simpled titled Saarinen Houses, the famous father-son duo also worked their magic on quite a few private residences sprinkled across Europe and the U.S. The volume, put together by architecture historian Sirkkaliisa Jetsonen and photographer Jari Jetsonen, cover 17 Saarinen-designed homes, tracing how the pair went from favoring more traditional wooden houses to glassy, modernist homes dressed up in their custom furniture designs.

The 2 interior shots shown above (↑) show the house Eliel designed for his family in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The Art Deco masterpiece was furnished with designs by Eliel (like that pendant lamp hanging in that library) and Eero, as well as textiles by his wife Loja. (Curbed Detroit has more photos of the interior, here.)

saa3.jpgPhoto via Princeton Architectural Press via Co.Design

↑ Here is an intimate living space in the Koebel House in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Built in 1940, the 5-bedroom home was a collaboration between Eliel and Eero. It was restored in the 1980s and added to the National Register of Historical Places in 2009.

saa5.jpgPhoto via Princeton Architectural Press via Co.Design

↑ This is the infamous “conversation pit” in the Miller House, a midcentury masterpiece by Eero Saarinen in Columbus, Indiana. A listed landmark, the house underwent a thorough $ 2M restoration after the original owner passed away in 2009, and reopened to the public in summer 2011. A trove of interior photos can be found this way, and here are some vintage shots of the home from the ’;50s, for good measure.

saa4.jpgPhoto via Princeton Architectural Press via Co.Design

↑ This interior shot comes from the Hvitträsk near Helsinki, the other house Eliel built for his own family.

For more photos of Saarinen houses featured in the book, head over to Co.Design.

· The Remarkably Intimate Houses Of Father-Son Architects Eliel And Eero Saarinen [Co.Design]
· All Eero Saarinen coverage [Curbed National]
· All Eliel Saarinen coverage [Curbed National]


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