Eero Saarinen. Shaping the Future
Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, Donald Albrecht
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2011 (Reprint in Paperback)
Far from a household name, Saarinen’s works are nonetheless internationally recognizable icons. His Gateway Arch towers 630 feet above St. Louis, welcoming visitors from across the mighty Mississippi River; the cascading vaults of his TWA terminal at JFK airport greet guests from afar. In many ways, Saarinen’s architecture conveys his own experience as an immigrant in the United States; originally from Finland, Saarinen set foot in America in 1923. This elegant compendium provides a lavish array of photographs and sketches of his work, as well as an impressive collection of essays by leading architects and academics. Renowned historian Vincent Scully, for example, addresses Saarinen’s role in defining modern architecture in America: by seeing the nation through foreign eyes, he writes, Saarinen understood the responsibility incumbent upon empire. This book demonstrates the many ways Saarinen, and the school of young architects from his office-Pelli, Roche and Venturi, each of them an immigrant or the child of one-hasn’t just brought a unique viewpoint to bear on his adopted home, but has changed the way America views itself.