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Eero Saarinen- a 20th Century Architect

Eero Saarinen 1910-1961
Eero Saarinen 1910-1961

My blog posts will be focused on the work of Eero Saarinen (1910-1961), a 20th century, Finnish American architect and industrial designer. Saarinen is know for his neofuturistic style, an artistic and architectural movement that emphasized a desire to depart from post-modernism and move towards an idealistic and better future.

Saarinen found early recognition in furniture design before creating his architectural masterpieces. His pieces of furniture were said to be organic in design and he was widely praised for this unique and artistic approach to home furnishing.

Womb Chair
Womb Chair

That being said, his architectural genius makes the furniture design seem irrelevant. Saarinen is the architect behind dozens of projects that have dramatically changed the field of architecture and challenged the post-modernistic eye. A list of his works can be found here: List of works by Eero Saarinen.

The remainder of my blog posts will highlight a few of his more famous works including: the Gateway Arch, the Milwaukee County War Memorial, the TWA Terminal, the Ingalls Ice Rink, the John Deere World Headquarters, and the Bell Labs Holmdel Complex. Each of these buildings speaks to Saarinen’s neofuturistic style and his passion for exploration and experimentation in American architectural designs.

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Gateway Arch
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Bell Labs Holmdel Complex
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TWA Terminal
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Ingalls Ice Rink
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John Deere World Headquarters
Milwaukee County War Memorial
Milwaukee County War Memorial

Imperial War Museum-Bashaw

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Image result for imperial war museum north

The Imperial War Museum is in Greater Manchester, England.  The area where the museum was built was a key industrial site during WWII and was heavily bombed during that time. It was opened in  and another example of I believe his favorite style of design called “Deconstructivist”. Because of Libeskind’ s personal history of being from a Jewish/Polish family he had many family members affected by the war which is why I think he seems to create these great buildings that can help with that healing in others along with reminding those of us who never experienced or truly know what it was like. The building was broken into  three areas or shards. The first represents air and is the entrance, The second represent earth which houses all of the exhibits and finally water which is where the café is housed. I enjoy how he sets a different environment and space and then almost creates a culture and a whole world for that thought.

Harvey Public Library (Moody Nolan Architects)

Harvey Public Library

Moody Nolan Architects are responsible for building several public facilities including but not limited to libraries, gyms, and hospitals. The Harvey Public Library District is located in Chicago Illinois, and according to Moody Nolan Architects it has “been serving the suburban community for more than 115 years.” Since the community has begun to expand beyond the libraries capabilities they turned to Moody Nolan Architects to not only expand, but renovate the entire facility. A list of the additions made into the new library include: Separate reading and computer rooms, community meeting spaces, study/ homework areas, age-segregated reading rooms, and mother/infant study areas. The Inside of the building contains several wide and open areas with a clear view to the outside. This is quite different from traditional libraries, which can make people feel shut in due to the lack of windows. The colors chosen for the décor are neutral in study areas and vibrant in open community rooms which helps set the tone for each space.

 

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Anacostia Library

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The architect that I am highlighting is Phillip Freelon. He is the president of the Freelon Group, Inc. His projects expand from Washington DC to San Francisco To Philadelphia to Georgia and North Carolina and he tends towards using a modern style. The first building that I have selected is The Anacostia Library in Washington DC. The building will be 22,348 square feet and cost $10,300,000. The library matches the modern residential area, while its colorful roof and collection of blocks make it stand apart. The roof stands as a splash of vivid color amongst the more muted walls and windows of the building. However, the beautifully bright roof is not the only thing that is green. The building is LEED gold certified and is built sustainably by using a previously developed site, native plants that do not need to be irrigated as landscaping, and by heating the water through the use of solar panels.

Post 4-The Chinese Village House

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This is the picture that could reflect the real shape of the Chinese village House. When during my age of 3 to 6, I was living there. It is totally different than some big cities in China; the traditional Chinese village house was built by clay and wood. Furthermore it lack of basic function, for example, I lived in the village house in Shandong, China, and most of houses do not have the drainage system. With the change of the times, it already could satisfy the basic living standard.

8888 Medical Plaza- Saint Louis, MO

This building brings a very negative feeling to mind whenever I see it. This building was my childhood pediatrician’s office. Stereotypically, I was the child who detested, panicked, yelled and threw fits whenever I was drug to the doctor for well visits or for illness. The squatty building with dark brick walls and heavily tinted dark windows still to this day brings the feeling of distrust and fright even just looking at the image. The architecture of this building brings to mind a castle or fortress: few ways in and few ways out. This comes to mind especially while noting the entrances are not even visible from the parking lot, tucked further into the sides underneath the second floor overhand it seems like 8888 would withstand an atomic bomb. Similar to many office buildings built in the 80s the dark colored squatty and uninviting building peppers the counties of St. Louis and holds many memories of shots, throat vultures and stuffy noses. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I cannot remember my first encounter with 8888, since it was my doctor’s office since birth, but I can remember the dislike of the building as a young child up until adulthood, and continually although I don’t have to visit there anymore.

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~Claudia Hoffmann

CIC 4240 Building- Saint Louis, MO

This building has a very positive connotation in my mind, as a very exciting place where ideas become opportunities and the marker of the start of my career. The 4240 building sat across the street from the building I worked at during my first internship. Often I had meetings at 4040 and went to happy hour with my co-workers every Thursday night. 4240 was originally built and used by the old western electric- southwestern bell distribution company post World War II. It was later renovated in 2014 for rentable office spaces for entrepreneurs. The building in my mind represents my leap into the business world, attending meetings, networking with young professionals, and seeing the rejuvenation of a strong corporate Saint Louis. The first time I went to the 4250 building I was struck with the perfect combination of the old shell of industrial America with the tall brick walls and dark windows and the new entrepreneurial era, with sleek modern twists, glass handrails and the feeling of the entire building being a work of modern art. 4240 is what could have been another crumbling building in downtown Saint Louis, but was saved and perfectly respects the old history with new modern style and architecture.

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~Claudia Hoffmann

 

Bishop’s Castle

 

Bishop’s Castle is located in south central Colorado on state highway 165 in the San Isabel National Forest. It was built by Jim Bishop, a local man and was originally going to be a cottage for his family. For 40 years he has worked on the castle and used surrounding boulders and rocks as well as his own metal scraps from his ornamental iron shop to weld multiple structures such as a dragon, dome, and ball cage. There is also stained glass windows and a cool bridge up high in the air. I have been multiple times to this site and the first time I felt like I was stepping back in time to the medieval era. But the more I visit, I notice more details and the significance of what one man has pulled off begins to sink in. It is so interesting looking and has inspired much creativity in me, especially the kind that is different and off-beat.

 

 

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Revival Old Houses, Plovdiv – Bulgaria

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These are photographs of the revival houses in a part of the oldest city in Europe, Plovdiv. This was a period started in the eighteen century when big economic, cultural and political upswing developed trade and craftsman in the big cities causing the start of a new era for architecture still intact today. This richness of variety not only of materials: stone, wood, and clay all in one place, but also the region they were built in. Their structures was often made with reinforced walls, rickety staircases and symmetric and asymmetric architectural pieces. The streets, like in some parts of France and Italy are narrow and steep which makes the architecture even more interesting and unique. These bourgeois homes are very heavily decorated and colourful, bringing interest from tourist all over the world. Plovdiv is not only a great ancient city, but the cultural capital of Europe in 2019 .

 

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Chicago Union Station

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One of the building that has influenced me in a positive way is the Chicago Union Train Station in Chicago Illinois. I chose this building because it’s where I rode on a train for the first time. I went with my grandparents, who were attending a conference.  I was extremely excited when I saw it because I had never seen so many tall columns and such a beautiful marble floor. I felt like I was on adventure, mainly because I was only 8 at the time, but I know that the design of the building greatly helped emphasize the feeling. What affected me the most about the building was the row of columns on the outside and inside. I had never seen so many columns up close before and the ceiling lights only made everything more stunning. The building seemed very important to me because I thought, at the time, columns were reserved only for important buildings. The Union station itself represents order while capturing the imagination.