Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Eero Saarinen – Space Age Designer & Architect

Written by Christopher • June 5th, 2007
Eero Saarinen – Space Age Designer & Architect

Eero Saarinen Grasshopper Chair for Knoll

Eero Saarinen was born in Finland in 1910 but relocated to the United States when his family emigrated there a decade later where he began to study sculpture and furniture design. Saarinen however pursued his ambition to become an architect. His resume contains over 20 buildings.

He’s also the architect behind the two landmark buildings TWA Flight Center at JFK Kennedy Airport in New York and the Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. The Trans World Airlines terminal at JFK is out of this world. The building was built for now defunct airline TWA in 1962 and is a milestone in space-age architecture.

It was the first airline terminal to have closed circuit television, a central p/a system, baggage carousels, an electronic schedule board…

The TWA Flight Center has also been featured in many Hollywood movies. Some more prominent ones are Catch Me if You Can and the original Death Wish starring Charles Bronson. The terminal interior looks ultra swank and futuristic and really represents the essence of what modern jet travel was about in the 1960s.

When TWA was bought by American Airlines in 2001 the building fell into decline and was decommissioned. It has then been used as a exhibition center for various events until 2005 when JetBlue started constructing its new terminal next to it which will incorporate Saarinen’s ultra cool building as a front.

Above: “Pedestal” Armchair and Seat Cushion, designed in 1956

Above: Eero Saarinen wooden furniture

Above: TWA Terminal built in 1962

Above: TWA Terminal built in 1962

Above: Dulles Airport designed in 1958

Above: Dulles Airport designed in 1958


A Swedish expatriate and founder of Ultra Swank. Chris loves showcasing his passion for mid-century design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and modernist architecture. He's also renowned as a connoisseur of easy-listening music from the 60s and 70s.

Find out more about Christopher

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