Eero Saarinen Shaping the Future Donald Albrecht, Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen

Publication date:
31 Oct 2006
Yale University Press
464 pages: 298 x 229mm
125 color + 321 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

The most authoritative book to date on the life and work of Eero Saarinen, one of the most influential architects of the 20th century

From the swooping concrete vaults of the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport to the 630-foot-tall Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the iconic designs of Eero Saarinen (1910–1961) captured the aspirations and values of mid-20th-century America. Potent expressions of national power, these and other Saarinen-designed structures—including the GM Technical Center, Dulles International Airport, and John Deere headquarters—helped create the international image of the United States in the decades following World War II. 

Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future offers a new and wide-ranging look at the entire scope of Saarinen’s career. This is the first book on Saarinen to incorporate significant research and materials from the newly available archives of his office, and includes the most complete portfolio of Saarinen's projects to date—a chronological survey of more than 100 built and unbuilt works, previously unpublished photographs, plans, and working drawings.

Lavishly illustrated, this major study shows how Saarinen gave his structures an expressive dimension and helped introduce modern architecture to the mainstream of American practice. In his search for a richer and more varied modern architecture, Saarinen became one of the most prolific and controversial practitioners of his time.

Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen is assistant professor of architecture at Yale University, and the author of Achtung Architecture! Donald Albrecht is an independent curator and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of the City of New York. His books include The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention. Mark Coir is the director of Archives of Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Sandy Isenstadt is assistant professor of art history at Yale University. Reinhold Martin is associate professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University. Will Miller is chairman and CEO of Irwin Financial Corporation in Columbus, Indiana. Vincent Scully is Sterling Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at Yale University.

“A monumental compilation of essays directed at ‘reframing’ Saarinen, together with the most comprehensive available documentation of Saarinen’s projects. . . . It will be an essential reference for many years to come, and will provide numerous departure points for further critical reappraisal.”—Bill Mitchell, RIBA Journal 

“An unprecedented inventory.”—Raymund Ryan, Architecture Ireland

"There will undoubtedly be other interpretations of Eero Saarinen emerging in the years to come, for which this will continue to act as a vital sourcebook."---Murray Fraser, Architect's Journal

"Saarinen has the potential to inspire architects of the computer generation, and this illuminating study is sure to enlarge his reputation." --- Michael Webb, Architectural Review

“[The] Saarinen exhibition and book . . . are the first major projects drawing on the Yale archive, which includes some 500 rolls of drawings and more than 100 boxes of other materials. . . . The collection offers a detailed look into Saarinen’s creative process—early sketches in which the fundamentals of a design like the Gateway Arch are being worked out or communicated to colleagues, photographs and mockups, and construction drawings showing just how he proposed to build his designs.”—Mark Alden Branch, Yale Alumni Magazine

"Recommended."—Met Home

"This is the fourth general book on Saarinen in as many years, and it easily takes the palm. Published for an exhibition traveling through 2010, it contains chronologies, a bibliography, a biography, and a portfolio of more than 100 projects, rendering it the definitive compendium on the architect. . . . The exemplary range of perspective, organization, and consequent accessibility for readers should earn it a place in all libraries."—Library Journal

“Until the publication of this book . . . the complete works and the creative process of this second-generation modernist master were waiting to be explored in depth.”—Architect Magazine

“The definitive portrait of the man and his work.”—Civil Engineering

Selected as a 2007 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries.

Silver Medal winner of the IPPY Award in Architecture

Winner of the Sir Banister Fletcher Award for 2007

AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers of 2006, Outstanding Design

Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title from 2007

"Everything about this book is, like Saarinen himself, first-class: from the financial backing to the pictorial content to the physical production to the list of contributors, a veritable Who's Who of contemporary architectural culture. An indispensable study of an indispensable architect and a bravura performance by Yale University Press. . . . Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals."—Choice

Winner of the 2008 Philip Johnson Award, given by the Society of Architectural Historians.