The Finnish architect and designer Eero Saarinen, son of the famous architect Eliel Saarinen, was born in Kirkkonummi, in 1910. In 1923 the family Saarinen emigrated to the US.
In 1929/30 Eero Saarinen studied sculpture at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris before studying at Yale School of Art and Architecture, where he received his degree in 1934. A Yale scholarship enabled Eero Saarinen to travel to Europe again but he returned to the US in 1936 to work in his father's architectural office. Eero Saarinen also taught at the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, of which Eliel Saarinen had been head since the Academy was founded in 1932. When his father died in 1950, Eero Saarinen took over his firm, named "Saarinen & Associates" in Birmingham, Michigan, until 1961.
Since the late 1930s Eero Saarinen collaborated with Charles Eames on a revolutionary body-molded plywood-shell chair. In 1940 Saarinen and Eames took part in the "Organic design in Home Furnishings" competition mounted by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)in New York. While Charles Eames continued to work on molded furniture in plywood, Eero Saarinen later chose other materials.
For Knoll International, Eero Saarinen designed many pieces of furniture, including the 1946/47 "Grasshopper" armchair with bent armrests of laminated wood. In 1947/48 he designed the "Womb" collection, which was supposed to make those seated on it feel as secure and cosy as a fetus in the womb.
In 1951 he designed the "Saarinen Collection" for Knoll, consisting of several office chairs, one of the first lines in designer office furniture.
The "Tulip chair" (1956) was also produced by Knoll and belonged to the group, with which Eero Saarinen wanted to abolish the "miserable maze of legs".
Eero Saarinen's architectural masterpiece is the signature TWA-Terminal at J.F. Kennedy Airport in New York (1956-1962). Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, designed by Eero Saarinen has been built between 1958 and 1962.