Eero Saarinen St. Louis Arch
You might know him from his furniture design, but Eero Saarinen was the modernist architect responsible for the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Photography courtesy of Knoll.

Finnish architect Eero Saarinen can be easily recognized by his iconic neofuturistic style. Saarinen got his start by designing furniture in the 1950s, mostly chairs and tables. Two of his most celebrated works are the Womb Chair, which looks like a round chair loosely molded into the shape of an armchair, and the Tulip Chair, made out of fiberglass and aluminum and exists as one of the first one-legged chairs. His innovative use of fiberglass for the Tulip Chair and one-legged design inspired other architects to follow in his footsteps and create furnishings with similar characteristics. The bright, warm colors he used for his furniture—red, white, yellow and orange—and could brighten up any room.

Eero Saarinen Womb Chair Vintage Ad
The swanky mod style of Eero Saarinen pops off the page in these vintage ads for his Tulip Arm Chair (left) and Womb Chair. Source.

With Eero Saarinen and Associates, Saarinen’s architectural firm, he designed and built many notable buildings such as the TWA Flight Center at New  York City’s JFK Airport and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, along with the Gateway Arch, in St. Louis, MO. Most of his architecture utilizes catenary curves, the curve that occurs from a cable being supported at both ends. For example, the way telephone wires hang in a curve. With these curves, Saarinen’s buildings seem to defy the laws of physics.

Saarinen’s influence has extended through the years because of his vibrant, modern designs. Today, Saarinen is thought of as one of the masters of American 20th-century architecture. His bold and inventive work still engages people because of his eye-catching, modernistic style.

And his innovative designs can still be purchased today at Knoll.com.