Eliel Saarinen is known for his public works, like the Helsinki railway station and the Finnish Pavillion but the houses he designed for himself and others are some of his best work. His son, Eero is also considered a famous architect and together the father-son duo designed some incredible houses.
Not only are the outside of his design amazing but the interior of each house is beautiful. It is easy to see Saarinen’s love of art through the decor of each home. His designed ranged from the rustic, ornamental style of his early Finnish homes to the mid-century modernist when he began working with Eero. Saarinen’s personality and love for family shine through his designs.
The Cranbrook Academy of Art was created during the latter part of Eliel Sarrinen’s career. He emigrated to the United States in 1923 and began the new role of educator as well as an architect. He began his teaching career at The University of Michigan but soon transferred to the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Saarinen was tasked with designing the Cranbrook Complex (seen in the picture below). With Saarinen’s hard work and passion Cranbrook Academy of Art became one of the most influential design schools in America.
From this photo, it is easy to feel the serenity of the complex. Adorned with many statues and structures it is easy to see why this school has become so influential just by its aesthetics. Saarinen was known for his sculpture gardens which are evident in this design.
The Helsinki Central Railway Station is known as Eliel Saarinen most important commissioned work. The station became known around the world as “rational nationalism”. The station was originally designed in 1860 but as popularity grew the station was due for a reno in 1904. A contest was organized and won by Eliel Saarinen due to his pure national romanticist design. He ended up ditching romanticism and re-designed the station completely to be more of a modern, rational style. To me, this building is so ornate because the outside of the building is almost completely made out of granite. The two distinguishing feature: The clock tower and two pairs of statues, next to the entrance, holding two lamps that lit up at night-time. This building seems to be very functional and beautiful to this day.
Helsinki Central Railway Station. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://architectuul.com/architecture/helsinki-central-railway-station
Eliel Saarinen, was a style defining and accomplished architect of the early 20th century. The Finnish architect was born on August 20, 1873 in Rantasalmi, Finland and came to his final resting place in Bloomfield Hills, MI on July 1, 1950. He is best known for his work on the Finnish Pavilion at the World Fair of 1900. The Finnish Pavilion mixed many styles including Art Nouveau with traditional (Finnish) wooden architecture and gothic revival. The Finnish Pavilion was created with the help of Herman Gesellius and Armas Lindgren. The Pavilion was stocked with Finland’s most advanced pieces of art. The structure was a huge success at the fair and brought international attention to the once unknown country of Finland. Unfortunately, the building was demolished, but historians
are working hard to rebuild the memory.
From the photo it is easy to the gothic influences in the structure. I would assume the roofing around the circular portion of the building is wood, bringing in the Fnnish aspect. This building seemed to be very immaculate for the time period and represented its country well.
The Finnish Pavilion at 1900 World Fair. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://paviljonki.mlog.taik.fi/history/
My final building is the Saint Chiara Monastery in Arezzo, Italy. OU recently renovated this 18th-century monastery for students studying abroad in Italy. I had the opportunity this summer to be some of the first students to stay in the Monastery. At first, I thought I was going to hate the Monastery but once I stepped foot inside my mind was immediately changed. While the rooms weren’t the most glamorous places they still were unbelievably nice and comfy. The Monastery had the most beautiful garden that we often sat outside, played games and drank wine. It also had a roof top tower that you could see for miles in every direction of beautiful Tuscany. But I think my favorite part of the monastery was the TV lounge. I know that sounds so lame and it’s not because of the room itself but of all the memories I made in that room. I see my other friends currently studying in Italy and their snaps of the monastery and I instantly become jealous because that was my home for a month! I think I said this in another post but studying abroad was easily one of the best experiences of my life and I will forever be grateful that I had the opportunity to go.
This building isn’t the prettiest, but it has had a huge impact on my life. The Courtyard Theatre is located in the heart of Historic Downtown Plano, Texas. The theatre was created in the proscenium-style theatre and seats 321 people. The venue is usually booked for recitals, musicals/plays, concerts, meetings and even private parties. Growing up I used to be super involved in theater and the company I performed with used this facility for their performances. I spent many many hours in this building, so it has become very near and dear to my heart. A lot of my best childhood memories are from rehearsals and shows at the Courtyard Theatre. Every time I encounter this building I am instantly filled with joy and reminder of all the good times I’ve had there.
After my travels in Italy, I spent a few days in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. The city itself is gorgeous, and the buildings are so unique; each was built with a different style. If you have ever been to Amsterdam, you know that it is a city of many museums. During my time there I went to the Moco Museum. The Moco Museum is a private gallery the features art by Banksy and Andy Warhol. The museum likes to focus on artists that have proven their vision. What I love so much about this museum is from the outside it looks like residential home, but on the inside, every floor is filled with paintings. Just to give you all some information about Banksy, he is a street artist that focus his work on political pieces. So to have his pieces in a gallery instead of out in the real world is very special. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Amsterdam I highly recommend this museum.
The first time I traveled outside of North America was this summer for my study abroad program. I had the opportunity to visit seven cities in Italy through a program called Journey to Italy through OU. We mostly studied art and architecture while we were there. Everything we saw was so brilliant; it had an effect on me. When we visited Venice, of course, I was taken aback by the city itself. I was intrigued by the fact that there were no streets, everyone got around through the river ways. Boats, boat taxis, gondolas, etc. were everywhere. We traveled to the Venice Islands and one island, in particular, fascinated me: Burano. But the one thing that attracted me the most were the buildings along the riverways. No house next to each other was alike and each was painted a vibrant color. You can help but smile when you look at these buildings…they bring instant joy and could brighten anyone’s day!