Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen was a Finnish architect known for his work with art nouveau buildings in the early years of the 20th century. He was the father of Eero Saarinen, Saarinen was educated in Helsinki at the Helsinki University of Technology. From 1896 to 1905 he worked as a partner with Herman Gesellius and Armas Lindgren at the firm Gesellius, Lindgren, saarinens early manner was later christened the Finnish National Romanticism and culminated in the Helsinki Central railway station. Between 1902 and 1912, he was also co-author of the design for the Fennia series, from 1910 to 1915 he worked on the extensive city-planning project of Munksnäs-Haga and later published a book on the subject. In January 1911 he became a consultant in city planning for Reval, in 1912, a brochure written by Saarinen about the planning problems of Budapest was published. In April 1913 he received the first place award in a competition for his plan of Reval. From 1917 to 1918 Saarinen worked on the city-plan for greater Helsinki and he also designed a series of postage stamps issued 1917 and the Finnish markka banknotes introduced in 1922. After the divorce from his first wife, Mathilde, on March 6,1904 Saarinen married his wife, Louise Gesellius, a sculptor in Helsinki. They had a daughter Eva-Lisa on March 31,1905 and a son Eero on August 20,1910, Saarinen first settled in Evanston, Illinois, where he worked on his scheme for the development of the Chicago lake front. In 1924 he became a professor at the University of Michigan. In 1925 George Gough Booth asked him to design the campus of Cranbrook Educational Community, Saarinen taught there and became president of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1932. Among his student-collaborators were Ray Eames and Charles Eames, Saarinen influenced their subsequent furniture design,1934, Eliel Saarinen was involved in product design for the Wilcox Silver Plate Co. / International Silver Company in Meriden, CT. His iconic tea urn was first exhibited in 1934-35 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in 1951-52, the tea urn was featured in the Eliel Saarinen Memorial Exhibition which travelled to multiple venues across the United States. In addition to Cranbrook, the Dallas Museum and the St Louis Museum, The British Museum in London, Eliel Saarinen became a professor in the University of Michigans Architecture Department. When she was appointed dean of Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan and his son, Eero, became one of the most important American architects of the mid-20th century, as one of the leaders of the International style. Saarinens student Edmund N. Bacon achieved national prominence as Executive Director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission from 1949 to 1970, Eliel received the AIA Gold Medal in 1947. The search for form in art and architecture, the City, Its Growth, its decay, its future. Eliel Saarinen, 1873-1950 - Works in Finland, a&E with Richard Guy Wilson, Ph. D
Saarinen designed entire city districts of Helsinki, but they were never built due to cost. This picture shows his plan for the Haaga district.