Photo of the Day: Saarinen’s Swooping Dulles International Airport Turns 50

East
Monday, November 19, 2012
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Inside Dulles Airport in 1964. (Courtesy BamaLawDog / Flickr)

Inside Dulles Airport in 1964. (Courtesy BamaLawDog / Flickr)

No one understood airports quite like Eero Saarinen. His swooping Dulles International Airport turned 50 over the weekend and its uplifting form is still inspiring today. Saarinen was quite proud of it, too, declaring the building “the best thing I have ever done.” The control tower and main terminal building at Dulles opened on November 17, 1962, formally dedicated by President John F. Kennedy. The airport was named for Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Also, if you’re in Los Angeles, be sure to check out the A+D Architecture and Design Museum’s exhibition on Saarinen, now up through January 3rd.

Dulles Airport today. (Courtesy Carlos Reis / Flickr)

Dulles Airport today. (Courtesy Carlos Reis / Flickr)

Saarinen's Dulles Airport under construction. (Courtesy Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority)

Saarinen’s Dulles Airport under construction. (Courtesy Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority)

One Response to “Photo of the Day: Saarinen’s Swooping Dulles International Airport Turns 50”

  1. John R. Shuttleworth, RA says:

    Despite its alienation from an urban fabric, where terminals of all kinds belong: ship, rail, bus as triumphal entries to metropolitan centers, Dulles terminal remains a magnificent architectural, typological metaphor of its purpose. It is what modern architecture has so long professed to be: the fusion of form, function and restrained expression; in this case: flight.

    All issues of aircraft noise pollution and public safety aside; when the structure is viewed for what it is, it cries for a significant “connection” to that which it serves. The connection itself deserves as much attention for its expression of “passage”: graded, incremental, ceremonial as does that to which it connects.

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