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Shaping the Future: the work of Eero Saarinen

Charting the career of one of Yale University's most influential architects

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The unorthodox and controversial architect, Eero Saarinen, studied and then worked at Yale University, designing the Ingalls Hockey Rink with its distinctive swooping vaults and the buildings of Morse College and Ezra Stiles College. 

Although born in Finland, Saarinen lived and worked in America and was instrumental in creating an international image of the United States - his designs are seen as some of the most symbolic expressions of American identity and aspiration that emerged in the decades after World War II.

Saarinen’s works include the majestic 630 foot-tall Gateway Arch (1948-64) in Saint Louis, the General Motors Headquarters (1948-56) outside Detroit, and the TWA Terminal (1956-62) at New York’s J.F.K Airport. He also designed furniture, including the Womb Chair (1948), which pioneered the use of polyester resin.


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